Nature
8:35 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Poor Will's Almanack: December 18 - 24, 2012

Credit Flickr Creative Commons user haglundc

Poor Will's Almanack for the third week of Early Winter.

In one of Aldo Leopold’s journals, that famous naturalist observed that the rate at which solar energy flows to and through living things not only affects the rate at which plants sprout, grow, flower, and die, but might also have some influence over human lives and the course of human events.

Seasonal affective disorder, a recently named malady that appears to be tied to a lack of sunlight, is one example of an event in human physiology that is tied to solar intensity.

But the balance of mind to calendar is a delicate one. The events of the day appear like butterflies in the afternoon; then they give way to other events in other spaces. It’s hard to know what effect they really have on us.

Paying attention to the external markers, I try to fashion a relationship with them and watch them working.

The result sometimes is the softening of my own soul, the creation of a more porous self, a blending of the floating, solar-driven phenomena of the landscape with my own spirit.

And in the mirror of the natural calendar, my reflection changes from one dominated by a society of human beings and political structure to a one filtered through a broader society of all creatures.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the final week of early winter.  In the meantime, watch to see where you look, and what happens when you do.

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