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Road Through Time by Mary Soderstrom

Road Through Time

by Mary Soderstrom

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Saturday, 26 March 2016

Saturday Photo: The Rites of Spring and Our Place in the Universe

This was taken last year--obviously an Easter egg tree this year would be standing in a pile of snow since we had a nice late winter storm Thursday and Friday.  But it's time to celebrate the coming--or the promise--of the verdant season.  (For other signs, check this out.)

This last week has been aces for such celebrations:  the Equinox on Sunday/Monday;  Norooz, the Persian new year festival on Tuesday; Purim, the raucous Jewish holiday on Wednesday/Thursday; Holi, the Indian one marking the victory of "good" over "bad" on Thursday; and now Easter for Western Christians tomorrow.

The equinox is a good time to pause and reflect on how much our world--full of IT and noise--is actually based on our fundamentally subordinate place in the universe.  No matter what we do, there is no way we can change the fact that we are on a planet that orbits its sun over a period that is somewhat related to, not not quite in sync with its moon's orbit around it or with its own rotation around its axis. 

We saw a demonstration of that at the end of February when we all had to make an adjustment as that month was given another day as it does every four years.  If that adjustment weren't made the seasons would soon be out of phase with the months. Another demonstration shows up in the way that  Greek Orthodox Easter comes a month from now.   It always comes after Passover, and Passover won't be for a month because the Jewish calendar this year has an extra month in order keep it more or less in phase, too.  That's what happens when a planet's orbit around the sun isn't quite in sync with its moon's orbit around it, or some such thing.

Makes you feel small, perhaps.  Or maybe just like going in the kitchen and starting to cook for the festivities that will make us feel better about it all....


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