© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Poor Will's Almanack: May 2 - 8, 2023

Tulip (Dover, Ohio, USA) 8
James St. John

Poor Will’s Almanack for the second week of  Late Spring, the third week of the Tulip Moon, the second week of the Sun in Taurus.

I started my counting practice decades ago when I was trying to stop smoking. Counting cigarettes was a way of being aware of my habit. The fewer cigarettes I counted, the more self-control I thought I had.

These days, tobacco long ago controlled, I still count. In 2012, I started to count the number of my lily plants that came into bloom.

And then a few years ago, I put in dozens of daffodil and tulip bulbs, and then I started counting them when they flowered.

With the cigarettes, I was practicing self-control. Then one obsession replaced another. Now, with the lilies and daffodils, I am simply giving in to counting.

And I enjoy just having an excuse for counting. I am practicing self-indulgence instead of self-mastery. I am escaping from non-counting... and from having to make sense.

Besides, counting one thing is always about counting something else. Totals mean less to me than repetition. Process is more important to me than outcomes. Intent changes the equation, makes its own meaning and skews the math to its own designs.

This morning, even though the daffodils are fading, the tulips are coming in strong. That's all that really matters.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Late Spring. In the meantime, if you don't have daffodils or tulips count something anyway.

Stay Connected
Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.