Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Saturday in the Easter Octave: "And God made the seasons."


Warm and Bright ~ Photograph: Jeriff Cheng

And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth."  (Genesis 1:14)

This verse recounts the fourth day of creation in the Book of Genesis: God created the seasons. We might think the author had in mind the four seasons we're accustomed to: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. But an ancient agricultural Chinese Calendar,  watched the movements of nature so closely it envisioned twenty-four seasons. And while it acknowledged solstices and equinoxes, it looked more deeply, seeing movements within the water, air, the animals and plants. China is a vast country and so the calendar was not accurate for all parts of the country. We can imagine local adjustments were made. 

This calendar invites us to be more observant and reflective. Here are the approximate dates and the lovely seasonal names assigned to each bit of time and change: 

January 6 ~ the cold begins
January 20 ~ the coldest time
February 4 ~ spring begins
February 19 ~ the rains begin
March 5 ~ the insects and animals awaken
March 20 ~ night and day are of equal length.
April 4 ~ the time of warm and bright
April 19 ~ the rains helpful to grow
May 5 ~ summer begins
May 20 ~ the seeds of summer begin to grow
June 5 ~ the wheat grows ripe
June 21 ~ the longest day and the shortest night
July 7 ~ slight heat
July 22 ~ thunder storms begin ~ the hottest time
August 7 ~ autumn begins
August 23 ~ the heat hides
September 7 ~ dew begins
September 22 ~ the middle of autumn
October 8 ~ the dew is very cold
October 23 ~ frost descends
November 7 ~ winter begins
November 22 ~ the lesser snow
December 7 ~ the greater snow
December 21 ~ the shortest day ~ the longest night


I'm thinking of the yellow Coltsfoot of yesterday's post - it blooms only for a short time. We could call that flowering time a season. A season could be marked by the spring sound of the peepers which began chirping like clockwork last night (check out the post for April 14, 2015). We could create our own personal seasons of gratitude.

5 comments:

  1. Thankful for many things as time passes. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  2. When you have children you live by sports seasons. Soccer season, basketball season, etc. This may not be as Feng Shui as the reflective seasons above, but it is most definitely a focusing point in our lives. Season can indeed be marked by many things.

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  3. For sure - and tax season too! And strawberry, blueberry, peach, apple season. Anticipation and gratitude.

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  4. It is something how faithful nature is. I have to smile when I hear the beepers. Its God telling me, not to worry, you can still count on me. Grateful. Then I thought of those war torn countries, everything so destroyed. What happens..

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  5. Much of Syria is leveled. But so many refugees want nothing more than to return home and perhaps, with the help of many countries, they will rebuild their homes, their schools, their churches and stores. And the land will heal and the animals and plants will return. We can hope.

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