Not deferential enough: Mucking about with time

Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: Mucking about with time

by Gina Hamilton

This weekend we will move the clocks forward. That means we'll be rising, at best, in the twilight time just as the sun begins to rise.

I don't know about you, but the 'spring forward' half of the mucking about thing screws me up.  It usually takes me a week or more to recover.  Don't get me wrong ... I love the long summer evenings, with the sun slanting golden for hours in the late afternoon and early evening.  I love the smell of the morning, much closer to newness because of the time change than it would be otherwise, the feel of the dew, the way the gardens look in the hot, white young sun.

But the change itself is a nightmare.  It's much easier to deal with the other end of the year, because you "gain" an hour then.  Losing the hour, somehow, changes everything.

They tell us that daylight saving time is necessary because of the farmers.  As a farmer, I can kind of understand it.  But the light is the same whether it's 5:30 a.m. or 6:30.  Farmers can and do get up at those hours, and even earlier. Is it because workers wouldn't come to the job if it was before six? 

I don't know. If you know, write to me.

That really can't possibly be it, can it? Because for millennia, farmers simply sighed and rose earlier in the growing season, stayed in the fields longer, collapsed, exhausted, after a hurried evening meal, and hoped to catch up on sleep and family time in the winter months when the most challenging thing might be to get to the cowshed in the winter to milk the family cow or to the coops to feed the chickens or out to the smokehouse to bring in a bit of pork for the beanpot.

Daylight savings time doesn't save anything, that's the point.  Summer days last longer than winter days.  That has to do with our little planetary tilt, not what time o' the clock it is.

Other rationales are energy savings for nonfarmers, because people are not driven to turn on lights until late in the evening in the summers. That argument makes a little more sense. 

But whether it's a nice thing eventually or not, it makes me incredibly tired and cranky for a whole week or more.  And it gets worse the older I get.

Well, we do what we have to do.  I support local farmers, so if that's what they want, I'll stand with them.

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