Alignment in the Leap Year
I would like to suggest that Leap Day—today February 29—become a
celebration of alignment. This “extra” day, tacked on to the end of
February every four years, exists to compensate for the extra five hours
and 46 minutes of our annual journey around the sun that is not taken
into account in our regular 365 day calendar year. In other words, Leap
Day is the day that we allow the earth to catch up with us.
As I imagine the earth’s orbit around the sun aligning with our calendar over the course of today, I am oddly reminded of the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. For those of you who don’t know it, the story goes that the hare and the tortoise set off in a foot race. The hare, knowing he was faster, got a bit cocky and decided to dally about. He had a couple of naps and some breakfast before even beginning. After waking up from his second nap, the hare realized he was far behind the tortoise. He took off running as fast as he could, but the tortoise, slow and steady, won the race.
Luckily, we are not in such a race with the earth. Quite the opposite, in fact, the last thing we would want to do is out-pace the orbit of the planet we call home. In fact, wonderfully, the Leap Year is our attempt to ensure we continue to stroll together with the earth around the sun as the years go by. This stroll requires us, however, to recalibrate every now and then so that we remain aligned.
So, today, given that it is a day of recalibration and alignment, I’m advocating we all slow down and consider the personal orbits we are on. Consider a few questions: Where might parts of you be moving too fast (or perhaps too slow)? What might your mind be ignoring? Is there something you’re hoping will just correct itself over time? Have you reached a threshold of misalignment in any area?
With an awareness of these questions, I hope that, for the rest of the Leap Year and beyond, you can feel as if you are either strolling with the earth around the sun or steadily walking the tortoise’s path rather than frantically racing toward a finish line.