Leap Years: Something the Gregorian Calendar Gets Right

Calendars coordinate people with people. It is better to be on vacation the same week your family is also. It is better for kids to be in school the same days as their teachers. It is better to be at work when everyone else is. (Though it is worse to be driving to said work when everyone else is.) In the modern world, it can be easy to think that coordinating people with people is all calendars do. If that were all, we could certainly do with a much simpler calendar—4 weeks to a month, 12 months to a year, no leap days, no irregularities forever. I won’t argue that it couldn’t be simpler, but I will argue that it cannot be perfectly simple. Because calendars also coordinate people with nature.