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April 10, 2018 3 min read

A call for cold weather, from BC farmers[1]

Daffodils are early this year. Too early for Easter, too early for the cancer society campaign. So What? Right… not if you’re a farmer! The market for local daffodils is predominantly around Easter, and a cancer campaign in March. The early daffodil blooms will be difficult to harvest as the seasonal workers haven’t been hired, and if the season begins early, so too it ends. The peak production timeline will have significant economic impact on flower farmers, related workers, and supply chains as they miss target dates.

Our being out of sync with nature is negatively affecting us via constructs of our own making – both monetary and calendrical. As the Earth rotates on its invisible axis, revolves along its invisible orbit, and the miracle that is life literally blossoms around us – we are worried about economic impact!

Animals, of which we are self-crowned, that live in seasonal environments have to change their behavior to match the season, it is a matter of life and death; or it was, until we took unnatural control of our environments. Now, I’m all for electricity, but some synergy with our home would serve us well right about now.

These are real problems for real people who have to put roofs over heads and food on tables. Not to be insensitive to these plights, but our tenuous sense of global control may be slipping. In ancient times our festivals and rituals were aligned with the cycles of the earth and its inhabitants – we took our cues from the skies, the flora and fauna around us. It would be crazy to think but…What if our plans were slightly less rigid and depended on variation beyond our control?  

It is time to rethink our imposed calendar on the Earth’s growth cycles. Not adapting to the change in Earth’s climate, regardless of the cause, is untenable.

How was our current calendar decided upon?

Due to civil reasons, the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582, is accepted globally. The motivation for the reform was to bring the date for the celebration of Easter to the time of year in which it was celebrated when it was introduced by the early Church. Because the date of Easter was tied to the Spring Equinox, the Roman Catholic Church considered the seasonal drift in the date undesirable.

We can’t work against nature, even so much as to align flowers with holidays. Some nations still take cues from their animal neighbors, some nations treat it as a gimmick.

The Clay-colored thrush, Turdus grayi, locally known as the yigüirro, is the National Bird of Costa Rica, designated in 1977. The Costa Ricans chose the yigüirro as a national symbol for its strong and melodious song, which always comes as a harbinger of the rainy season; it is also important as an indication of changing climate. How better to time your planting than with definitive knowledge of the oncoming rainy season.

In Canada and the United States, Groundhogs Day is celebrated. If the groundhog sees its shadow on Candlemas Day (February 2), six more weeks of winter remain. While the tradition remains popular, it is typically for entertainment purposes only, as studies have found no consistent correlation between the outcome and subsequent arrival of spring.

What if we returned to taking cues from our environment?  How would we have to adapt our mindset around pace and structure; let alone control of all things!? What would our civilization need to shift to adapt some of these changes? Maybe a grassroots movement to correlate dataism and permaculture could marry the dichotomy that defines this age. Or maybe not.


[1] https://www.cranbrooktownsman.com/news/unseasonably-early-daffodils-prompt-wish-for-cold-weather-on-b-c-farm/


Author: Jannine Parke