pergola swing

The outdoor living area is where I travel through time, journey the world, and discover new things. It is where I look through books and the computer —all while kicking back on my pergola swing.

Or enjoying other things, similar to the Leary family’s children pictured here —slowly savoring a cup of delicious hot chocolate. For the grand kids, it is a favorite place to play and host their birthday. Time with family, friends, or in solitude outdoors brings a lot of pleasure.

Today, where I am, is a particularly gorgeous sunny day in January. The sunlight is amplified by the fact that between January 2nd and January 5th the earth is as close as it gets in proximity to the Sun.

swing winter pergola

Time is something many of us take for granted. It just exists. And yet, back in the day —the month of January and Februaryused to not exist at all.

pergola with bench porch swing

It may seem strange to you and me, as we have experienced time with a January and February month —every year, all of our lives. This is because January and February were not part of the original Roman calendar. In that day, the Roman calendar had only 304 days a year. And it gets even stranger: For 61¼ days —during the winter seasontime was ignored and unaccounted for.

cabana 16th birthday

Although, it appears rather peculiar, we too, have an oddity on our current calendar —February 29th! “Leaplings,” those born on that day, really only have a birthday once every 4 years, even if they celebrate it some other time.

Birthdays have been being celebrated for centuries. In our Western annals, the earliest recorded birthday party was in Genesis in the Old Testament held for the Egyptian pharaoh whom Joseph served.

In days of old, people recognized and celebrated birthdays, as do we. Would it stand to reason, people born on one of the 61¼ days not on the Roman calendar —were just ignored or unaccounted for? The thought is comical.

february 29 birthday

I have a suspicion, when tax time came ’round —someone would have made them accounted for.

As for me, February 29th would have been a delightful day to have been born on. I imagine though, it would have shifted my sense of time, been a cause of self-perplexion, and a yearly reminder of fudged human genius.

birthday princess party

Romans were not the only ones with a paradoxical way of tracking time. There’s many more; e.g. the ancient Buddhist, Chinese and Hebrew calendars had entire leap months!

The Gregorian calendar, we conform to today, presents yet another challenge: Our future Leapling grandchildren will skip yet another birthday. There are additional rules that apply to the centuries. The year 2100 is not divisible by 400; which will cause “Leapers” to wait until 2104 —with a span of 8 years until their next birthday.

People have monkeyed with the operations of time even without a dilemma —as exampled in Daylight Saving Time. However, not everyone in the United States participates in springing forward and falling back. Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, and some Amish communities opted out. And the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands —do not participate.

birthday party

The Daylight Saving Time system upsets the body’s internal clock and gives the body jet lag for awhile. But compared to what happened to the citizens living on the Iberian Peninsula in 1582 —this adjustment will seem insignificant.

In that year, the subjects of King Philip II retired to bed on Thursday, October the 4th. When they woke up the next morning it was Friday, October 15th! An entire 10 days were just deleted! This transpired in order to reset their calendar in sync with the rotation of the Earth.

The Gregorian calendar is not faultless, but instead of eliminating extra days, a second is added to a day every few years; which synchronizes clocks with the rotation of the Earth.

We each have a biological clock inside out body that influences our sleep habits. Spending time in the outdoors reprograms the body’s circadian clock. A simple way to accomplish this is to eat breakfast in a sunlit, open-air environment.

Bathing in Sunlight

Today, where I am, it is a particularly gorgeous sunny day in January. The sunlight is amplified by the fact that between January 2nd and January 5th the earth is as close as it gets in proximity to the Sun.

In reality, it’s so warm out here, there is no need of even a sweater. And to think, just a few days ago we had a snow fall of well over one foot deep —perfect for snowboarding!

sunlight pergola deck dog

Sunlight feeds my soul. And there is an endless list of other well-being advantages of spending time in the outdoors. Physically it helps to improve vision, strengthens the immune system, clears the lungs, and gives you more energy —just to name a few. Inhaling the clean air always clears my mind and I have a greater measure of ideas and concentration.

relief sculpture bird

Sculpting is my favorite hobby. And the place I enjoy doing it is here —outdoors on my pergola bench swing. I appreciate how the sun warms my sculpting clay, just right.

The purpose of a pergola isn’t meant to entirely block and shelter from the sun overhead. Pergolas dapple the direct sunlight giving you the best in sunlight and shade. Western Timber Frame™ pergolas are designed with an 85% shade coverage acting like a happy shade tree —without requiring the care and watering.

swing arbor garden
solid wood timber framed pergola
Pergola with tables

Timber is also a natural regulator of temperature, congenially adjusting for human comfort —cooling down when it is hot and warming when it is cool.

I am incredibly blessed to do work using my computer —in the perfect spot— outdoors, bathing in the winter sunlight. To me, sunshine feels like being wrapped in love.

outdoor tv fireplace christmas

Timber pergolas are synonymous with hospitality; healthy living and time with others. Time is valuable. You can make more money but you can never make more time even if people add or subtract days from the calendar. Imagine time as a gift of a specific amount of money. And you are told, “This is all the money you will ever get —so take care in how you spend every dollar. You will not have any more to replace it.” Unlike money placed in a bank, the sum total of time you have been gifted is hidden from you. Calculating how much has been spent is easy but you have no idea how much is remaining.

The pace of time can’t be saved in a bottle or spent in various quantities as money can; it simply passes. However, like money, time can be squandered. It reminds me of a cartoon I enjoyed by Cartoonist Dave Whamond called a modern version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ It depicts an angel talking to a young man who is mesmerized by his cell phone. The angel says, “George, would you like to see what your life would have been like if you hadn’t been looking down at your cell phone the entire time?”

In a world that beckons and distracts, having a convenient place to step out to —any and every day, habitually brings the family closer to together. The atmosphere naturally slows the pace to breath in deeply with the diaphragm. In my experience, the body becomes more attentive, less anxious, and life doesn’t feel so pressured. Life is good. And pergolas are a perfect place to spend time with those we love.

pergola latticed walls

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