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The Tilt

One of my favorite lessons when I taught middle school science was “Why do we have seasons?” It was always fascinating to watch kids’ faces as they contemplated this idea, then discovered it through a variety of activities. Why did we just move from summer to autumn last month? It’s the Tilt. Our Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees, and this subtlety along with our revolution around the sun creates beautiful and predictable change this time of year--it’s the Tilt. 


Right now, life seems tilted far past the normal 23.5 degrees. Kids are at home all day, we are all on endless Zoom calls, and our typical and predictable routines and activities are neither typical nor predictable. We have all had moments in the past two months where we wondered if the Tilt was so severe that we would simply fall off the proverbial edge. But we didn’t (thankfully!). 


The leaves have changed, the air has cooled, the pumpkins have arrived, and our first virtual Fete du Vin was a success. These are all proof that our planet is not tilted 180 degrees, 50 degrees, or even 24 degrees. Earth is still at 23.5 degrees, and it will be for a very long time. 


We are in a moment, longer than we hoped, that is wobbly, unmoored, and tilted at times. But, it is temporary and it is important to notice the predictable things around us -- like the change in the color of the leaves and the frost in the mornings. We also have our community, our children, our families, and friends to keep us on our axis and revolving around the sun. This gives me great joy and comfort, and I hope you all find the moments to remind yourself of these things.