I hate daylight savings with a passion. I’m always tired that week, and the different light messes with my sensibilities. It feels like I’ve been gypped out of a whole hour. If we could just dispense with it, I would be a much happier camper. There is the inevitable changing of ALL THE CLOCKS in the house. And we have plenty, because I think they’re decorative and neat. I have to make sure that Brian hasn’t already turned them. And then I have to remember that all of them exist. Sometimes the one in my office and the one on the fireplace mantle don’t get changed for weeks. But despite the fact that an hour of my life was sucked away, I still like this time of year the best.
The lighter days mean that I have more time to enjoy home. Instead of pulling my car into the driveway of a dark house with only the porch light a beacon of yellow in the darkness, I get to march to my door in the daylight. I can enjoy the little white flowers on my neighbor’s plum tree. I can marvel at how much the grape vine has grown in the time I was away (seriously, it’s like inches every day. The dime-sized leaves of last week are now closer to the size of the bottom of a water glass). I can inspect the multiplying buds on the rose bushes. We have pink roses in addition to the red ones, I found out. It’s amazing what a little rose food and weeding will do for them.
There was a bluebird in the yard this morning that I wouldn’t have seen if it had been an hour earlier. He was surveying the weedy field that is currently my backyard. He would twitch his head this way and that and swoop down into a thicket of green, his blue wings wide, decorated with racing stripes of gray and white. He’d flit back to the fence, and munch on whatever it was he had pulled from the ground. Then he’d do it again.
And then lighter days always meant summer was coming. Summer was concerts in the park with a picnic on Mondays, fireworks and Sousa on the 4th of July, dollhouses in the dining room, swimming lessons, lazy days spent reading and doing nothing else, our vacation to Maine. As an adult, I get the abbreviated version sometimes. Tantalizing bits and pieces. It still feels good.
When I was a kid, I never wore a watch. I don’t know why, exactly. I owned a watch, I just never wore one. It never seemed to matter during the school year. I was a slave to the school bell, or I could consult the classroom clock, or there was one in my mother’s car. But during the summer, when I was out on my bicycle or frolicking at the park, I learned to tell time by the sun. I was hardly ever more than 15 minutes off. I can’t make it work in the dark days of winter. When the world is light, I have some semblance of the time again. I’m usually closer to 30 minutes off these days. Use it or lose it, I suppose.
So, Daylight Savings. Blessing or curse? I don’t really know. I hate losing that hour, and adjusting to new times, and twirling clock nobs. But I feel like the time change gives me back to myself.