My great grandmother, May, could feel the weather. My great grandfather, Steve, could read the clouds. I can feel a thousand things but their depth of feeling and connection to their surroundings has confounded me.
Our perception of the world around us, of time, is a curiosity. My own sense of time has changed fundamentally over the years: I mean to describe a part of it here.
Many find calendars indespensible: it meters our commerce, vocations, and leisure. It fixes memory to the head of a pin.
I loathe it.
I believe the observed New Year of the Gregorian calendar is artificial; this synthetic construct has served only to disrupt our circadian rhythms. It confuses and disrupts what was once the domain of nature. Did my forebears suffer the same nagging sensation of imbalance?
My alternative is not revolutionary or unique, though my ritual may be. Necessity forces me to follow convention, however, I privately observe my own calendar. My year ends with the terminus of fall – a natural time for one to reflect. It is a time of harvest, of plenty: an opportunity to survey the labors of the spring and summer and take measure of what has been done. It is this harvest of memory that I treasure above all fall rituals. It is a time to gather what I have sown and draw it close to sustain me during the long winter.
Memories grow distant and long, just as the shadows, in fall. It is in these memories that I meditate and take communion with my past.