It’s About Time

Posted by on Nov 4, 2012 in adaptations, fall, Unmowed Blog | 0 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 small monetary donation wouldn’t hurt, either. (just kidding…)

My cause is this: ban Daylight Savings Time. I mean, it’s a hoax. A giant prank. We’re all fooled into thinking we get an extra hour of daylight. It’s amazing—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 adjust to the new bedtime that’s camouflaged as being the same bedtime. 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 bears know it’s time to hit the hay? How do geese know it’s time to head for the condo in Florida? What makes squirrels and raccoons layer on extra fat for warmth?

What about plants? How do milkweeds know it’s time to go to seed, crabapple trees know it’s time to drop their leaves?

It’s more than just the cold weather.

Temperature is a wildly unreliable indicator. We have 90 degree temperatures in March, snow in October.  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 lessening 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.

So I’m starting a movement. I’m putting up lawn signs. Mailing out flyers. Click here to contribute fifty dollars to show your support. (You realize I’m kidding, right?) Let’s fight the Daylight Savings tyrants. Let’s stick together on this. Next April, when daylight savings rolls around, let’s refuse to change the clocks. A whole mob of us, being tardy for school and late for work. That will make them sit up and take notice.

Of course, today is the day on which we abandon the daylight-saving madness and return to Standard Time sanity. And of course, there’s a silver lining to every cloud, you know. For the whole winter, we get an extra hour of darkness in which to sleep.

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