About Time

Posted by on Mar 10, 2018 in spring, Unmowed Blog | 3 comments

I have a cause I’m deeply committed to. I really get quite emotional about it—just ask my family. And I’m asking for your support. I’m asking for your vote. And a sizable monetary donation wouldn’t hurt, either.

My cause is this: Daylight Savings Time. I’m against it.

It’s a hoax. A giant prank played on us by the powers that be. We’re all fooled into thinking we get an extra hour of daylight. It’s amazing, right?—the sun slows in its descent, bounces back up into the sky, and gives us a whole extra hour of sunshine.

Only, of course, we all know it doesn’t. We just fiddle with the clocks and fool ourselves into thinking we get more sunlight. We could accomplish exactly the same thing by getting up an hour earlier. And we lose an hour’s sleep.

I get very weepy about this, and not just because I’m a naturally indolent person who would sleep till noon if I didn’t have an alarm clock and a strong Puritan sense of guilt about idleness and sloth. It takes me weeks to adjust to the time change. And I’m not the only one. I’ve met a lot of cranky children who can’t get used to the new bedtime that’s camouflaged as being the same bedtime. It’s not that I forget to set my clock, but I still spend a month running around being late for things—the time just feels wrong. Admit it—the time change makes you feel just the tiniest bit off-balance—out of step, somehow.

That’s because we’re tied, all of us, much more strongly than we think, to nature’s cycles of light and dark.

I mean, think about it. How do geese know it’s time to head north? What makes chickadees and robins start thinking about romance? Why is there such a cheerful chorus of birdsong on a wintry March morning?

wells horton chickadee

It’s not just the weather. Temperature is a wildly unreliable indicator. We have blizzards in April, thaws in January.  You’d go crazy if you tried to figure out the season by the thermometer. No, it’s not so much temperature as day length, the subtle increase of light that triggers a host of behaviors in both plants and animals. Including humans.

And then along comes Daylight Savings, and mucks it all about.

Changing the time disrupts our inner clock in so many subtle ways. But it’s not just the tiny torture of getting up an hour earlier, or losing an hour’s sleep that makes me want to ban Daylight Saving. It’s the arrogance of thinking we can control the sun, create more daylight, stretch time to accommodate ourselves. As if we weren’t animals that respond to sun and darkness like the chickadee and the wild goose.

So I’m starting a movement. I’m putting up lawn signs. Mailing out flyers. Let’s fight the Daylight Savings tyrants. Let’s stick together on this. This year, when Daylight Savings rolls around, let’s all get up at 2am on Sunday morning and refuse to change the clocks.

And then we’ll go back to bed, conscious of a job well done. A whole mob of us sleeping in, being tardy for school and late for work.

That will make them sit up and take notice.

wells horton crab apple

Many thanks to Wells Horton for these beautiful pictures! See more at http://wells-horton.smugmug.com/


  1. I would rather keep daylight savings all year and have longer darkness in the morning in the winter and longer light in the evening in the summer. If we kept standard time all year the sun would go down at 7:30 in the summer and come up at 4:30 am. I wouldn’t be crazy about that, especially since I’m not especially a morning person!

    • That works for me–it’s the changing back and forth that drives me crazy.

  2. I agree with you 100%.

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