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Poor Will's Almanack: June 7 - 13, 2016

Dicoplio Family
Flickr Creative Commons

Events in nature generally occur in a fixed sequence, based on precipitation, the declination of the sun, and the effects of warm or cold days.

And, usually, if something happens once, it will happen again.

Now certainly history and daily life are full of events that did not or cannot happen again. On the other hand, neither human nor beast, fish nor fowl, would venture out into a world in which repetition did not occur. Frozen by uncertainty and unknowing, no creature would risk its existence in constant novelty. Observation would make no sense because who could draw conclusions from what occurs if the occurrence could not be repeated? Scientific method would implode. To the observer, matter would be an endless string of isolated, unreferenced, linear constructs, formed by the witness-mind.

Comforted and encouraged by patterns of replication, however, we can make sense, shaping a universe rich in experiences which never occur in isolation, which are parts of the whole and which are then enhanced and defended and actually created by salutary repetition. And so although not every event reoccurs, meaning or in both human life and nature is dependent on events that do reoccur.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of early summer. In the meantime, see for your self: if something happens once (like maybe the sunrise) it’s likely to happen again.

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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.