How do you figure your worth?

Money money money money. Money! Photo by Jason Leung / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is the last of the sansculotides, the unnumbered days that fit between years. We celebrate la récompense, or what we get for doing our part.

This is more usually translated as "Rewards" or "Honors," but I can't resist the shared Latin root here, nor help but think that in an era before the concept of salaries or even a stable currency, the rewards and honors were likely implied as money. That said, the French were big on trophies at this time, and even more so in the ensuing Napoleon-and-beyond century. That whole thing where you wear a military uniform laden with badges and pins and medals? Yeah, that was a French idea. These signifiers stemmed from the craze for cockades, small circles of ribbon cloth that would be pinned to people's hats or breasts to show allegiance to a party or an idea. During the mess of the revolution, a cockade was everything in terms of sorting out who believed whom about the future of France. Gradually, this craze spread beyond France and it was Poland, right around Year I, where the first cockade was bestowed upon military men for their service in a campaign. It wasn't long before the self-selected cockade meant to tell people who you are became a bequeathed medal to tell people who thought you were special. The French Legion of Honor, established by Napoleon in Year X (1802) and one of the few things every subsequent government kept from Napoleon's idiosyncratic notion of government, was a ribbon that was much sought after in the 19th century, and accorded much deference, almost as rare and wondrous as a Superbowl ring. So perhaps today is the festival of ribbons. 

So we've truly come to the end of this year's daily newsletter. I won't be continuing, as I mentioned earlier, at this pace. For starters, it's too much! Calendars do not take a day off, and there have been many days when I've felt unable to do the topic true justice. But more importantly, I don't think there's an infinite number of things to say about, say, grapes. The entries will eventually become repetitive, and the temptation to simply recycle will become too great. I want to keep this project going, and I want to make it as fresh and interesting as I can for you, the loyal readers – especially those who have chosen to contribute to the upkeep, for which I'm grateful, especially given that this platform just raised the rates for its service.

So, in CCXXXII, I'll be posting on primidis only, which is every 10 days, with a preview of the coming week (including links to last year's entries if you want to do a deep dive on any given fruit or vegetable or mineral or animal) along with other facts and stories inspired by the items in question. I'll also keep doing some card readings, but all at once now instead of one flip at a time.