February 29 is a date that occurs every four years, and is called leap day. This day is added to the calendar in leap years as a corrective measure because the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days. Who invented Leap Years? Julius Caesar introduced them when he ruled the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, but the Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. This created too many leap years, but the Gregorian Calendar more than 1500 years later corrected it to what we use today, which is every four years. Here on an island this day is like most others — a beautiful blue sky brings the fire of the sun into view as the sea shimmers with its light reflecting on the water. The sand and ocean mingle together on the shore bringing shells, crabs and other treasures I have written about. The tiny hummingbird sips from a bright red hibiscus flower outside my office window as an egret steps cautiously through the lagoon in search of its breakfast. Majestically it spreads it wings and lifts off like the Concorde soaring over the marina to the other side only to touch down on the rocks. Mother Nature exhales, and her breath is the warm breeze that sends sailboats drifting and palm trees swaying. The serenity is soothing to my soul.
Every four years an extra day is added to our lives — the last one being in 2008. That was a tough year for me. Two very special people were taken from this earth by evil cancer. Memories are patterns stamped in my mind, and it is hard to believe that 1,460 days have passed. We go through our days routinely here on the island and then something happens, and I want to share with them but cannot. It really brings the words I continually preach which are: Life is to be lived — whether it be on an island, in a city, in the mountains, or where ever you call home. So I will be renewed and will coax the sweetness of this day and every other. As sure as the wave’s crash one day, the next they will softly lap gently forward. “Our memories are the only paradise from which we can never be expelled.” — Jean Paul Richter