The end of time

When I was little daylight savings time was such a gift. Hours of day stretched out before me through the summer. Days my friends and I played kick-the-can till everything was grainy-gray or till a parent yelled out the back screen door to come in, “Now!” Days we could watch lightning bugs twinkle in the evening shadows, soft summer winds playing with our hair.

I look forward now to the day each fall when I get that hour back. Somehow now, when that clock hand turns back in spring all I can think of is when I rise at 5 or 5:30 in the morning it’s really 4:30, and when I go to sleep it’s only 8. But the last night of dst brings a restful slumber, partly because I sleep much better in cold and by now our temps are playing with the 30 degree range. Also because I know that when I wake up next morning and look at the clock and I see 6 a.m. it really is 6 a.m., not 5.

Maybe it’s something to do with being honest about things and I really don’t like pretending, even about something as neutral as whatever hour it is or if it’s day or night. People who travel a lot must not be bothered at all by this because wherever they go the time is vastly different from wherever they left, depending on where they go or where they live. Say I went to Israel. Well, being on the US east coast, it’s 7 hours’ difference, ahead of me. Or Alaska? Four hours earlier, 5 in some parts. And Arizona does not observe daylight savings time at all. My business used to deal with a small company there, near Flagstaff and on one occasion I asked the young woman I spoke with over the phone about it. She laughed.

“Honey, we don’t need any more daylight out here!”


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