Every morning around 6:15, before the sun has even considered rising and the owls are still out hunting, I take Suzanna for a walk around our neighborhood. I’m not a morning person, but I like these early morning walks. I like the dimly lit windows of my neighbors’ houses, and I like still being able to see the moon and stars. I can hear the birds waking, and I can smell coffee on the air, and I can think clearly and slowly before the rush of the day really sets in.
And so I do a lot of thinking in the mornings–a lot of contemplating and a lot of figuring. Which is how it came to be that for the past two mornings I’ve been pondering an issue so complex and mind-boggling I’m still not sure I have grasped it completely: Daylight Savings Time. Every spring and every fall I am completely and utterly bewildered by Daylight Savings Time. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason it was established many years ago (to support the work schedule of a predominately agrarian society), and I understand the resetting of the clock thanks to that little mnemonic device (Spring Forward, Fall Back). What escapes me is this: what time is it…really? I am never quite sure if I will wake the morning after a time change to darker or lighter skies. For weeks I walk around saying to myself, “Now, it’s 11:00, but my body thinks it’s 12:00. Wait, no, 10:00. No, wait, 12:00. No….” Thank God I keep these thoughts to myself. Until now, of course.
And thank God none of my neighbors walk their dogs at 6 in the morning, because this is what they would have heard (yes, sadly, out loud) for the past two mornings as I revisited this conundrum in anticipation of the October 30 time change:
“Okay, when the time changes it’s going to be even darker in the morning when we walk. No, wait, I thought in the fall it was supposed to be lighter in the morning. Okay, if I set the clock back to 9:00 before I go to bed at 10:00, in the morning when I get up at 6:00 it will really be 5:00. Wait. If at 10:00 it will really be 11:00, then…wait….”
It’s not really necessary for you to hear the rest; it’s more of the same. You’ll be happy to know I finally got it this morning, and while I can’t really explain it to you, I am certain I understand it. I think. Wait. Yes, I’ve got it.