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Sunday, March 13, 2011

There is No Daylight Savings Time, Inside the Gates of Eden

It is the 4th day of Lent, the first Sunday in Lent. Lenctentid (spring-tide) in the Anglo-Saxon Old English was the name of March, because the first signs of spring came forth, and the days grew longer.   The fast period from Ash Wednesday up to Easter was therefore: Lencten-fœsten.  For the ancient Anglo Saxon's time was measured in seasons, by the sun, the weather, the moon.  Noon was whenever the sun was highest where you lived.  The regulation of lives by the clock, which in the modern sense did not yet exist, was unimaginable.  

Outside, while still the same grey, luke-cold, rain that is the curse of Seattle's "mild" climate, shoots are greening up and buds are breaking open. My winter blues is waning, although my rooming house and hard times killing floor blues still hums along. 

It is also the first day of daylight savings time, a modern artificiality that plays havoc with our health, through sleep deprivation, our psyche and our life style.  Day light savings time is an attempt to regulate the consumer-worker the ways hens made to lay eggs under  longer day of artificial lights are regulated.  Day light savings time is to benefit the economy, not the person.  

I have become aware that in order to deepen my spirituality, fast and sacrifice properly in Lent, I must also grow closer to the earth and to real time.  That does not mean I intend to give up cell phones, clocks and computers for Lent.  It does mean that I will look for ways to incorporate natural living, natural rhythms, gardening, etc into my life as weave my prayer, fasting and scriptural study around it. I will seek things to do without or to do less of as well as people to help, and attitudes to change.  I am hoping to accomplish some simplification and reordering of my life by Easter, and to find a closeness to God in a closeness to the earth.  

Joni Mitchell wrote of Woodstock that "we've got to get ourselves back to the garden" although the festival she wrote it of was more of a pagan fertility celebration than a return to the Garden of Eden.  Least the stone slip from my hand, I must admit here that at that time I found such things exciting and interesting.  Bob Dylan had written more realistically and yet simultaneously with great hope and idealism of all the things that exist inside "The Gates of Eden" or only exist outside of it, contrasting innocence and corruption.  Dylan's vision is a worthy Lenten meditation. 

One of the forms of organization tried by the Catholic Worker movement has been intentional community/farms.  Co-Founder of the Catholic Workers Peter Maurin realized that this form of organization had a potential for deepening the spiritual lives  of people, although the early Catholic Worker farms all failed. But then again to cite Dylan., "there is no success like failure..."

There is an interesting history of Lent by a Catholic priest at:
And by a Protestant at:
the lyrics to "Gates of Eden are at:
A chance discovery earlier in the day lead to a post also on Lent and closeness to the eart, , but showing it's Jewish roots:


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