Our timing is off. You may not have felt it, but we are not in alignment and so we need an adjustment.
Every 4 years in our “solar” calendar calculations we add one day a year—the designated day is February 29th. Why is the day added to February? According to historians, February was the last month of the year (the last month added to the solar calendar). Originally there were only ten months (ending in December) and so, when it was time to add a day, it was tacked onto the last month. With the addition of one day every four years we come close to rounding off the actual time each year it takes for the earth to rotate around the sun. We are still short 11 minutes and 14 seconds a year which over a long period of time adds up.
In the Jewish calendar we have a similar, though much greater need to balance the lunar and solar calendars and so, when it is time to create a leap year—an entire month is added to the last month of the Jewish year—a second month of Adar is added. This year is not a leap year and so we will have one month of Adar (which will set Passover quite early, the first week in April).
Adding a day or a month sets things right but, for those of us sensitive to time, seems so arbitrary, as if time can be added to our lives (or subtracted) similar to when we “fall behind or spring ahead” an hour of the clock. Can we add an hour, a day or a month to make our planet align with the seasons and adjust the amount of daylight without a parallel realization that time is not a fixed entity?
The Kabbalah of time is to understand that time is relative—it is a dimension through which we live and also a dimension through which we can transcend. On this “leap” day we have an opportunity to reflect on our relationship to time and re-align our relationship with it.
A favorite song of mine, Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads, ends with the words:
Time isn’t holding us
Time isn’t after us
Time isn’t holding us
Time doesn’t hold you back.
Time can hold us in its grip—we can fear time (as in how much time do I have left?) or we can take that leap and add a new dimension to how we live in time. It is the last day of the year, live it fully.