Thoughts On February
February, our shortest month, brims with opportunities to learn about astronomy, enhance our understanding of American history, be creative, and renew our commitment to being more appreciative, kind, and loving.
We have a bonus day ~ Leap Day on 29 February, designed to keep our calendar, the Gregorian calendar, in alignment with the tropical year, the time needed for Earth to circle the sun once. [FYI: Astronomers define circling the sun as increasing the mean longitude of the sun by 360 degrees.] That takes more or less 365.242 days, requiring the quadrennial addition of one day that gives us Leap Year.
Does that solve the problem? Not completely: 4 x .242 does not equal one, and the length of the tropical year is decreasing. By 3200, our calendar will be almost a day behind the tropical year.Maybe that will be the first Double Leap Year.
Our two most famous presidents were born in February. Our first on February 22, 1732; our 16th on February 12, 1809. George Washington, hailed as "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen" became known as the father of our country. Abraham Lincoln preserved that Union and abolished slavery. Can you imagine our country without these two men? Talk about making a difference! What better time than now to reacquaint ourselves with these men of courage, integrity, and principle?
Valentineís Day invites creative fun. Let's get out our arts and crafts supplies and get busy. In our blog for 1 December 2011, Peg Ackerman shared an idea for making a star shaped ornament/party favor. Substituting a heart and red glitter transforms that project into a "little something special" for anyone we want to be our Valentine.
Random Acts of Kindness Week runs from 13 February through 19 February, this year. The RAK Foundation seeks to inspire people worldwide "to practice kindness and pass it on to others." Their Extreme Kindness Challenge asks participants to commit to a daily act of kindness. Now thatís an idea we all can support.
Join us in observing all the special days of February. Let us know which day means the most to you and why. Likely it's not one of these, as significant as each one is, but something closer to your heart. For me, 10 February is the most notable. That's the day I became a mother.