12/30/2011

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for everything a season I'm always a little perplexed about human-made calendars (currently the dominant Gregorian) that bring us leap years, seven day weeks, months of different lengths, etc. that don't quite match the natural cycles of our immediate cosmos. Like so many human conventions, the Gregorian calendar was an attempt by the Catholic church to control celebrations of Easter. Of course, some cultures also use other calendars based on events of great importance in their particular histories. After all, If it only took God seven days to create the universe with time for rest, then just imagine what we could do in a week's time. All an attempt, in my humble opinion, to control the uncontrollable forces of the universe. What's wrong with the naturally occurring cosmic dance of 365-ish turns in the course of one major revolution around the sun (creating days, seasons, and years), with predictable pushes and pulls from the moon (creating daily tides and months)? It's quite elegant on its own. And so, I quietly celebrated the new year at the moment of the turn of the seasons from autumn to winter not quite two weeks ago, when the days (in the northern hemisphere) reached their nadir and began getting longer. As people the world over ring in the New Year during the curent turn of the earth on its lopsided axis, whether their days and nights are getting longer or shorter, Whether the tide is high or low, we would do well to think on what we can and cannot control in our lives. Perhaps this is why we make New Year's resolutions. Transitions, natural or synthetic, are good times for transformations. We can't transform the processes of the universe no matter the mask we throw on them. We can't even change others. We can only work on ourselves. As one of my mentors says, our task is to shift from "attempting the impossible--changing others--to the merely difficult--changing myself." (Margaret Marcuson). My next post will be about my resolutions for this year, which began about 9 revolutions ago. Blessings, Rev. Matt

Rev. Dr. Matt Tittle

Rev. Matt is a Unitarian Universalist minister and author.

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