Saturday, December 31, 2016

Leap Year 2016 In Review…Superstition, Idiosyncrasy and Adage

30 days hath September
April, June and November.
All the rest have 31,
Excepting February alone
Which has but 28 days clear
And 29 in each leap year.

By the time this essay crosses paths with everyone, it is my wish that the year 2016 with one final day to complete its tenure would have been stopped in its tracks with its bucket of devastation, deluge and wicked wonders.

On the political front, the turn of events in the United States of America during the Presidential Campaign have been jaw dropping.  It wasn’t politics as usual.  The days of law and order and sticking to the rules and regulations were overrun by brutish modern style and sordid comedy.  It has also defined that a woman’s place is in the house…the small house which is the kitchen. To have galvanized a posse of rowdy women with frying pans, rolling pins and dutchies (cast iron pots) would have probably done the trick of chasing an “orange-hair” white man out of town thus giving America its first female President.  But as the beat went on and ended it’s now what will be will be.

To say the least though, during all the hullabaloos and shenanigans, the other extremes in life whether by free will and brute force were hardly noticed.  The tragic loss of family members and friends were merely given thought and so were all the major successes in our daily lives, surroundings or even in governmental affairs.  The social digest was so covered with hate that I had totally forgotten about the traits of a leap year. The elders from way back when had instilled in my head that a leap year is a year to be watched.  It is a year that is filled with major disasters and happenings. I have marked the behavior and I must say that there have been elements of truth in what the elders imparted. As an example, the elders mentioned that a woman who is in a relationship with a man becomes the aggressor by proposing to that man.  It is the one time that a woman can take the role of a man without being criticized of not having pride. We all know that the traditional way expects men to ask for a lady’s hand in marriage and not the other way around. It is also said that cooking black-eye peas on New Year's day will bring good luck throughout the year.

Tied into the superstitious settings of a leap year are other beliefs and idiosyncrasies that some individuals take on during the onset of any new year. For example: a) One should never wash dirty clothes on New Year’s Day because that will become chronic throughout the year. b) Throw away old brooms and buy new ones to sweep your houses. If not, ill luck will prevail throughout the new year. 

Beyond the New Year's beliefs, which I wish that I had enough time to list a few more, I also like to dabble in other kinds of adages of some sorts.  I will whet your appetite until another time: a) A dog’s toe nail draws lightening. So never be around any dog during the course of lightening. b) Do not wear one foot of a shoe and leave the other foot bare because it a sign of calling your mother’s death before time. c) On arriving at your home late at night, it is important to enter backwards to prevent any evil spirit, that trailed you, from entering your home :) :).  d) Tan an see nuh spwile noh dance. A interference mash it up. (Do not engage yourself in every activity).  e) Cotton tree should know how its behind stay before it calls wind. (Educate oneself before getting involved).

Last but not least, I hope that in 2017 we will exercise love.  We should all start a project by sewing the dodder/love bush/love weed to show some love.  Back in the day it was most children’s delight to pull a handful of dodder or love bush, cast it on a shrub or tree, spit on it and then call the name of a person that we were in love with.  If the plant grew and spread abundantly that meant that the person was also in love with us.  This little assignment always made me smile and brought joy to my soul.  On this note go spread the dodder.  Have a wonderful, healthy and prosperous 2017.

Tah-tah!  Spread some love.

Grace Dunkley-Asphall Copyright © 2016

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