Monday, December 12, 2011
It's About Time
Time, as we know it, is a man-made construct. Minutes, hours, months, years, all neatly arranged to give the illusion of control. A given society must accept the proposed concept. We in America work from the Gregorian calendar, but it is not universal. There is a Chinese calendar, an Indian, Hebrew, Islamic, and so on. Greenwich Mean Time was devised to allow sailing men to navigate by finding their longitudinal location in the ocean (and thereby prevent falling off the edge of the world). As a personal aside, I've always loved the old mapmakers' phrase for unexplored territory, "Beyond this place there be dragons." It applies to so many aspects of life. To go on...I've made no secret of my irritation with the way Congress has played fast and loose with Standard and Daylight time, and my wish that California had, along with Arizona and a few other states, refused to play that game. I won't address that diatribe again (for now). Regardless of the calendar or clock wherever one is in the world, there are two days in the year that are irrefutable; the summer and winter solstices...the longest and shortest days. The winter solstice is on December 22 (on our calendar) this year. It can't come too soon for me. There are not enough hours of daylight to get everything done now, and the long nights stretch out forever. On December 23, the sun will rise a few minutes earlier and set just a tad later. Farming friends of mine think it's important enough to throw a party. I think I'll join them.