Thursday, February 29, 2024

Reflections on Leap Day & Using Time Wisely

Time on toes Photo Credit: Horst J. Meuter, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

We celebrate Leap Day this year… and maybe celebrate is not the word 90-percent of the population refers to. A quick Google search shows us that it actually takes Earth 365.242190 days to orbit the sun, resulting in a “bonus” day if you will, once every four years.

Time has always fascinated me, no matter how it is divided up. Blame my Capricorn tendencies I suppose – the claim to fame that we stubborn mountain goats are ruled by the strict planet of Saturn, ruler of time and all things related.

I tend to think of Time as the eccentric Sacha Baron Cohen in the 2016 – also a Leap Year – Disney film Alice Through the Looking Glass. He has a sense of humor to some degree, but more importantly, Time has a job to do.
One of my favorite lines in that movie is at the end. Alice speaks frankly to Time after trying to change her friend’s circumstances over and over again. She looks at him, and emotionally confesses:

I know you tried to warn me, but I didn’t listen. I’m sorry. You see, I used to think time was a thief, stealing everything I loved. But I see now, you give before you take, and every day is a gift. Every hour, every minute, every second.”


Many, unintentionally take time for granted. Even though as Alice realizes, we are given so much time, before Time eventually takes back. 

In a text message to my mother last night I confessed that although my week forecast was pretty busy, the biggest task would be using my time wisely.

So this year, we’re given the gift of an extra day. What shall we do with it? Roll our eyes at the calendar and brush it aside? Or perhaps see it as something more. 

Below are some fantastic articles published on past ‘gift’ Leap Days.
I see in them all, a theme of what one might spend their precious time on.

Leap Day: 2020
Long time Almanack contributor Annette Pisano-Higley exquisitely writes of the slow, but steady, transition taking place across the north country in her poem Awakening. She uses her time wisely and observes it gently and slowly, as it continues to march on.

Leap Day: 2016
Former Editor of The Adirondack Explorer, Phil Brown, composed this fascinating piece that details the life of Adirondack Hermit, Archie “Bobcat” Ranney. Brown reflects on our 2016 world, the idea that indeed we have become somewhat “digital hermits”… this being more accurate than it was 8 years ago.
If time is indeed a gift, what do we do with the time we have?

Leap Day: 2012
Adirondack writer, teacher and philosopher Marianne Patinelli-Dubay wrote beautifully in her piece 12 years ago, speaking to the same question we seem to continue asking: What is our relationship to these woods, mountains, and lakes? Why are we drawn here?  How do we honor our Park and its inhabitants in ever changing times?

Let these thoughts and words be a prompt today: when you look at the possibly insignificant date on your February calendar – No matter how you add up the days, weeks, hours, years – time is a gift, and it is up to each of us, how to uniquely receive it.

Photo Credit: Horst J. Meuter, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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Sarah lives in the northern ADK's with her husband, 2 daughters, sled dogs and 15+ chickens. She is an aspiring children's book author, and professional Tarot advisor. She wears many hats working with The Adirondack Explorer, and she loves them all.

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