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Poor Will's Almanack: September 12 - 18, 2023

A photo taken of a portion of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail during the month of October in the city of Peninsula, Ohio at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Kevin Payravi
Wikimedia Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack in the days of Early Autumn the time of the Apple Cider Moon, and the Sun in Virgo.

I have long been aware of the inconsistency of my memory in matters of the seasons and weather as well as in my relationships with people.

My selectivity with many everyday matters blurs events, reconfigures places. It conditions me to live in an imaginary world.

Several academic studies seem to support my personal hunch that my mind is doing more than just telling me where and how I was.

The gist of these professional studie, at least for my purposes, is that the brain's hippocampus essentially rewrites personal history. It filters and prioritizes the past from the perspective of present needs, creating what might be called a Hippocampal Fallacy.

Scientists have concluded that memory is not like a mechanical video recorder. In fact, some say human memory is actually built to tell stories, not reproduce what actually happened.

And so...as I sift through this summer, I “create a story.....a story That always seems to include the best of summer's long ago the brightest mornings and the most perfect afternoons when I felt most at peace.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with more notes on the seasons. In the meantime, encourage and feed your Hippocampus., Tell yourself the right story. Leave out the bad parts.

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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.