I know a lot of people hate it, but I love Daylight Saving Time. It’s an adjustment, to be sure, but it’s totally worth it. Especially since I retired and no longer have to rise early to get to work on time. (One of the perks of stacking up the decades!) It means Spring is truly here (well, almost, anyway) and brings to mind endless summer afternoons spent outdoors on a chaise lounge sipping icy-cold lemonade. Not that I actually spend many afternoons outdoors on a chaise lounge sipping icy-cold lemonade, but it makes a great picture in my mind. And one year I’ll do it.
But it’s not really Spring yet, not where I am, anyway. It’s been a pretty weird winter this year; I’m sitting here watching this adorable little bird couple start a nest in the corner of my awning (I’ve advised them against that location; it gets really hot there in the summer) and the daffodils are nodding their yellow heads at me just beyond. And – BAM! – we are now told to expect five nights of below-freezing temps. What’s with that? What was the weatherman thinking??
I do know a handy trick for the daffodils, though, and it’s already proven itself this year. I used to live in South Georgia, near a strawberry patch. I adopted their suddenly-freezing remedy: I go out near dark and spray the flowers with the hose. The water on them freezes as soon as the temperature reaches 32 degrees, and they don’t get any colder, even if it goes down into the 20s. It’s worked so far. Just a little ice bath at bedtime, dahlings. Who wouldn’t love that?
Daylight Saving Time hasn’t always been welcomed by everyone, though. Supposedly, an old Native American, upon being told of it, said, “Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.” An astute observation, but I’m not convinced an old Native American said it, because I’m not sure Native Americans were using the foot as a unit of measurement at that point. But what do I know? Maybe they were.
Oh, and while I was surfing the Web for that pithy quote, I also learned that the proper name is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time. Had to go back and take off all the s’s. Because you’re not really saving something that accumulates, I guess.
Love it or hate it, it’s here, for the next eight months. That bathroom clock that’s been wrong for four months will be right again. But the little clock that has a computer chip that automatically sets the time – the one I bought in the late 80s, won’t be right for a few more weeks, because when I bought it, DST was only in effect for five months.
But in the grand scheme of things, it hardly matters, does it? Time is a human construct. Nature doesn’t need clocks or calendars. Humans need something to mark the passage of the hours and days, but Nature has no need for such contrivances. If humans are ever extinct, Nature will miss neither us nor our timepieces. Nature will carry on. That’s what Nature does.