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Poor Will's Almanack: February 10 - 16, 2015

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When I am restless in the winter, the landscape around me doesn't seem enough. These few acres of woods and homes are just a taste, only a promise of the great world.

But when I go too far away, I gather my landmarks of home around me. Distant locations only make sense against my private gauge.

Time benefits from a master point like Greenwich; from that arbitrary set point, we can know the sun throughout the world, and even plot the instant and the physical place where the past and future blend to a single day, balance in a temporal vacuum.

Even if I do not live in Greenwich, I know its longitudes follow the sun through the entire globe. In the same vein, place has no scaffolding without home. Home is the Prime Meridian. So if I know where and when I am in my neighborhood, I know also, if I were to travel, comparative time and location.

The winds across my yard are not parochial. Hibernation here is not a state of isolation. The hills above my paths are not barriers. The river nearby, disappearing around the last bend, goes out to the end of the world.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back next week with notes for the first week of early spring, the second week of the Flowering Moss Moon and the first full week of the sun in Pisces. In the meantime, ask yourself, “Where is home?” That is your starting point.

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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.