Today as I was driving back to Camden from my parent's home in Lancaster County (outside Strasburg) I quickly noticed the Amish families participating in the festivities. There were multiple flatbeds full of many Amish familes being pulled all around the countryside lanes. There were Amish participating in games of croquet and baseball. The countryside reached harvestable levels of dandelions, and the cows grazed freely on the grassland. The Amish were celebrating a liberation from their workday, an Easter sabbath, the liberation from winter. The snow peas have emerged and their tendrils are reaching for the trellisses.
The Amish seem to function well with their own calendar, and for half the year they are an hour different than the "english," they don't participate in daylight saving's time.
In the "modern" educational system young children and children with disabilities in particular have difficulties adjusting to daylight savings time, as they their delicate circadian rhythms do not quickly adjust. The children learn to stop time during punishment, participating in "time-outs." All of this seems a little wrong.
I left the Lancaster County countryside and landed on Temple University's Campus where I met up with my friend Ross. Ross and I are writing a dissertation together. His is for his master's degree, mine is for a faith-based eco-justice retreat center in Camden. We are researching the nuances of religious holy days, the liturgical calendar, and the interconnectivity of the agricultural seasons and practices with spiritual significance (the Ecological Liturgy). i.e. planting your potatoes on St. Patrick's Day, inoculating wood for mushrooms on Good Friday, releasing ladybugs during Pentacost.
The calendar in which we widely accept is a strange measure of time. Pagans had little use for the concept of "weeks" and rather they embedded themselves within the agricultural seasons. Our Gregorian Calendar takes the remnants of the nomadic concept of "months" and also includes the Judeo-Christian concept of the 7 day week. Christians celebrate Sabbath on Sunday, because of the correlation with Easter. Its complicated, but I am not satisfied. 100 centimeters always equals 1 meter , a measurement of distance. Yet 1 month= 28 days sometimes, 29 days sometimes, 30 days sometimes, and 31 days sometimes. Priests and wisemen did the best that they could, relying on certain astrological events such as the appearence of Sirius. The calendar year is the cycle of time which embraces the return of the seasons. The farmer's almanac is of more relevance than the social or civic calendars in most of Asia and Africa.
I want to make my own calendar that spins like an ancient Torrah, but keeps going around and around, constant like the acceleration of gravity on earth.
The Gregorian calendar as we know it was developed in 1582 by pope Gregory XIII, developed in part due to the failure of the Julian calendar to determine Easter. The Julian Calendar was developed by Julius Ceasar. Easter lands on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. I am not sure how Gregory made this any easier to calculate, because, i can't calculate it without the full moons marked on next year's calendar.
Progress is bound up in agriculture, and agriculture, to be successful, needs to know in advance exactly when the seasons would occur. Yet we lose something when our calendar is a flipping of pages, like a checklist, to be discarded as useless at the end of December. The Gregorian calendar has 28 varieties of months in week-day disposition, and requires 28 years to complete the cycle of changes. I was born on a Tuesday. The 18th and 19th centuries saw numerous proposals for an unchanging calendar, yet we never saw a need to force the change.
Every other year alternates 13 full moons or 13 new moons, this seems like a more practical rhythm to shape our calendars, have a calendar that lasts 5 or 7 years like the Mayans. Have a calendar that follows the same 28 day cycle of the biodynamic farmers, the tide, and my body.
it just started to rain outside here. and now.