Once every four years, the month of February includes a 29th day, a Leap Day. This extra day is a way to align our calendar with the earth's movement around the sun. Because the earth actually takes 365 ¼ days to circle the sun, the Leap Day accounts for those missing quarter days.
The tradition of the Leap Day began in ancient Rome. In 45 B.C.E., during the rule of Julius Caesar, astronomers established a new calendar based on a solar year. To keep their twelve months in step with the annual movements of the sun, every four years they added an extra day to February, the shortest month. Though the astronomical calculations in what became known as the Julian Calendar were essentially correct, they were not perfect. In 1582 A.D. Pope Gregory XIII adjusted the calendar, establishing the Gregorian Calendar used in most of the world today.
In our daily lives, the calendar is a practical tool to make appointments and to organize our activities, but Leap Day can serve to remind us that it is nature herself who truly sets the tempo of our lives. By tuning into the movement of nature we come to understand our connection to all things in this universe. Leap Day offers an opportunity to remember that the measure of our days actually originates in the orbit of the planets and the sun, all set in motion by Consciousness.
Gratitude naturally arises when we remember that it is nature which supports our very existence on this planet. On Leap Day, may we gratefully acknowledge that which sustains our lives.