This morning my cat, Grace, woke me up at exactly 6:25 a.m. just like she did yesterday. Only today is the first day of Daylight Savings Time in the US, so she woke me up one hour earlier because we “spring forward” and lose an hour to make the adjustment. How did she do this? I don’t know. It’s a mystery.
It’s not the first year that this has happened. But it is the first year that it has been snowing on the day that we make this yearly shift into spring. Last week, I was picking daffodils and enjoying sunny walks up the mountain with only a light jacket. The birds were singing and the March winds were rustling through the woods.
It’s Sunday, which in English is called the Sabbath, a day to rest. My favorite writer, Wendell Berry, made it a habit of spending the Sabbath outdoors every Sunday unless the weather was really poor. I have adopted the same habit on Sunday afternoons.
My Sunday morning habit has become listening to choral music, especially the music by Andrew Maxfield and the Salt Lake Vocal Artists which accompanies the poetry of Wendell Berry read by the author himself.
I came across the writing of Wendell Berry in 1989 when I was just forming my dream of living on a piece of land and stewarding it in a way that harmonizes with nature. I bought his now classic book, The Unsettling of America, and shortly thereafter began working in organic gardens.
Today, my gardens lay under several inches of snow but the new life has already begun to stir. As Berry wrote:
The seed is in the ground.
Now may we rest in hope
While darkness does its work.
-1995. V. A Timbered Choir
The seed that I will plant today is the intention to create a new habit. The goal is to create a habit of studying a foreign language daily for at least 5-10 minutes a day.
You are probably seeking to improve your English. I’m planning to improve my German and to learn how to have a simple conversation in Polish. Some people say it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Let’s find out.