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Poor Will's Almanack: May 1- 7, 2012

Flickr Creative Commons user ~Sage~

Poor Will’s Almanack for the second week of Late Spring

At winter solstice, the sun rose at the far southern corner of the Danielson's house across the street from my window. At equinox, the sun came up over Lil's house.

And at summer solstice, it will rise in the northwest between Jerry's house and Lil's. The original owners of these three places have moved or died, but still I use the houses to measure course of the sun and the progress of the year. But they do that only from my window. Disconnected from that view, they lose their astronomical significance.

And so it seems - even though Lil is dead and her house is only due east of My window and not due east of anyone else's window in the world - even though I am the only one who marks Cross-quarter Day with sunrise between her house and the Danielsons' house (and the Danielsons died long ago, too) - it seems to me that without that odd and arbitrary global positioning system, I would be lost.

And it also seems to me that I have spent my whole life looking for and through such windows, marking whatever I needed to mark in order to keep my balance. And if I moved away or became disoriented in mind or body, it would be likely that I could only find myself again from some other window on some other street, in the context of some other buildings from which to wait and see the sun rising through the year, a window from which to say, "Here I am!"

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, look out your window; find your markers.

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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.