First of all, it’s actually Daylight Saving Time (DST). Just one “saving.” Here in Dexter, we call it “summer” and it’s over this weekend. (Sniff) We hardly knew ye.
Dexterites everywhere will begin sadly stowing away their bright happy clothes as their summer life flashes before them and pulling out the heavy jackets and wool leggings for the coming Michigan winter. Those of us not headed to Florida will be layered up like the Michelin Man trundling about in the slush and cold.
I’ve heard a number of conspiracy theories about how this messing-with-our-head practice of stealing morning light and adding it to evening hours for longer summer days came about:
- During WWII it kept factories more productive later into the day.
- Mysterious people in control of the business world did it to keep people out and about spending money.
- During the energy crunch of the 1970’s, it kept the lights off longer at night (because I guess turning your lights out would somehow shorten the lines at the gas station).
- I even heard someone explain how George Bush Jr was behind it to keep his family making money with oil. The person telling me was horrible at reading the body language and cues I was radiating in an attempt to let them know I wanted to get far away from them. Conspiracy theorists.
Like a lot of things, DST actually began in a weird way. There was a guy, George Hudson, who likes bugs, “entomologist” for those of you who take this interest seriously, in New Zealand. He hunted creepy crawly things after his shift at the factory. Before the invention of the flashlight, he found it hard to find bugs in the dark. In 1895, Hudson presented a paper to Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight shift. He really liked bugs.
It’s all fun and games until we have to give it back, like this weekend. I’ve gone through quite a few of these now and never fail to be just a little shocked that the evening sun was only on loan. Like a teen with the family car keys, I kind of thought it was mine to keep.
Who even turns back a clock anymore? Watches are disappearing. I’ve seen people wearing watches pull out their phone to check the time. “Just look at your watch” I say. “It might be wrong” they say.
I don’t even pay attention to the time on the microwave and stove anymore. Having to reset it after every power flicker is just too taxing. Even if I did take time to figure out yet once again how to reset the time, I would still look at my phone.
And my car? Well, I simply find it easier to remember that the clock is an hour off than go through the nuclear code sequence of pressing buttons and turning dials to get it “on time.”
Like more and more things in my life, when it comes to DST my phone takes care of business for me. No reminders needed. I just go to bed Saturday night and wake up wondering why I overslept. It feels great, like finding $20 in a winter coat pocket.
So goodbye summer. You would think I’m used to the transition by now, but I’m not. I’m already counting the days to March 11, 2018 (127 when Googled on the phone) when I’ll gladly give up an hour of sleep to save a little daylight.
On a (ahem) … brighter note Dexter, we’ve got the holidays upon us. Gordon Hall Christmas Tours, Holiday Hustle 5K, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas music and decorations everywhere, special church services, and an overall feeling of goodwill to all men will dominate the next couple months.
So take heart Dexter! At the very time when things are getting darker is the very time when we draw closer together and wish each other well – the most wonderful time of the year. Maybe it can be said then that even in the darkest times, light still shines.