Ridvan celebrates Baha’u’llah’s time in the garden of Ridvan where He publicly declared His station as a Manifestation of God. The Ridvan Festival is 12 days long and is also the time of year where Baha’is elect their governing bodies.
I just got back from a five day Indigenous retreat near Canada’s Rocky mountains. I listened to knowledge keepers speak about plants, known as the Standing People, which give us all the nourishment and medicine we need; I learned about animals and forged a relationship with a gentle horse (a species I was previously heart-thumpingly terrified of); I studied the stars and I took off my wool socks to walk in the forest and commune with the earth, known by many as “that which sustains us”.
We talked about the seasons and, remembering that seasons differ from place to place and from people to people, I asked if the Ojibway, Cree and Mohawk marked time with the four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. Tracey, my teacher, chuckled softly and shook her head. She explained that seasons are not heralded by dates on a calendar. Seasons are a lived experience: each is delineated and indicated by what the earth, the sky, the plants, and the animals are telling us. You know it’s spring when you’re a part of spring.
I was disappointed. I despaired that no matter how immersive the retreat was, I would never be able to understand this way of living, that I would never be able to unshackle myself from the Gregorian calendar and the 24 hour clock and understand time as it is lived with the earth.
And then, from deep in my gut, I remembered.
I remembered that I know intimately what it means to live a calendar. Ever since I was a junior youth, my time on this planet has followed the rhythm of a 28 day cycle in which there are seasons of rest and slowness, and times of renewal and energy. For the majority of my life I have been a living breathing calendar.
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.