Where’d it go? I could swear I left an hour sitting right here on the table, and now it’s gone. That’s the feeling of waking up the day of Daylight Saving Time. Sure, it’ll stay light later now, but the mornings, when hope is most necessary, are once again dark. It’s funny how we play with time. I’ve known many people who love the end of Daylight Saving Time because of the illusion that they’ve gained another hour of sleep. In fact, it’s just a deferred payment. The great time-keeper in the sky won’t be cheated. So—pardon my yawn—we’re adjusting again. One of the great mysteries of this is that keeping Daylight Saving Time permanent has strong bi-partisan support in the US government. It never becomes law, however, because riders are constantly attached to it, making one side or the other back out. And so we all spend a couple weeks trying to get our circadian rhythms to adjust. Again.
I’ve often wondered about the timing for this change. Why Sunday morning? In this nation that likes to pretend to be Christian, it’s a regular joke that folks in pre-pandemic times would miss church, having forgot to set their clocks ahead. One incredibly busy Sunday in Edinburgh, my wife and I had missed church altogether. I’m thinking it must’ve been in the final throes of getting my dissertation finished. When supper-time rolled around we found we were out of some ingredients and we went to the local grocery to find, of all things, it was closed early. It was only then that we had to stop and laugh at ourselves. We’d just spent an entire day out of joint with time and didn’t even know it. In pre-internet days it was possible for that to happen.
Most of our clocks now set themselves automatically. I still wear an old-fashioned analogue watch. I need to set it manually, which keeps me on my toes when Daylight Saving Time approaches. O yes, and the clocks in the cars are off—they’re not wired in that way, being older models. And the one on the microwave. I can always use my phone for the accurately predetermined time on which we all agree to operate. Even if the morning skies, which were starting to be light at six now stay dark until seven. In another month we’ll catch up again. And Daylight Saving Time, instead of being a strange intrusion, like most unwanted guests, will begin to feel like normal.