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Poor Will's Almanack: August 18 - 24, 2020

The Witscher/Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the second week of Late Summer, the first week of Sheep and Goat Breeding Moon. It is the transition time of the Sun to Virgo.

The week ahead moves the Earth halfway between June solstice and September equinox. It took two months to reach this point in the third quarter of the year; now summer stagnation suddenly falls apart, and the land rushes toward autumn at twice the rate it did throughout July and early August.

The planet's changing relationship to the sun quietly turns the color of the landscape, reflecting succession through matter, sequence through leaves and flowers. Repetition of the cycle from year to year sets a natural, physical calendar of which we are a part.

Like rings around the core of a tree, the repetitions circle around our center, bringing the same annual signs and lessons at every point in the solar descent to winter or ascent to spring, creating stability as well as coherence and substance, explicating, making sense of where and who we are.

Perennial observation of recurrence removes the distinction between immediate experience and memory and dreams. In the case of the seasons, it blurs the line between one summer and the next. All summers become one summer. The years turn into one year. Time loses linear power. Transformation becomes layered, each level distinct but interchangeable.

Once we find our way, what we have done and still will do rotate and return like constellations in the night. We step into the same river twice and then over and over again. We become infinite beings without beginning or end.

I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Late Summer In the meantime, relax and let it happen.

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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.