The clock in my truck is finally right again
Published 1:14 pm Thursday, March 16, 2023
I don’t care what the clocks say, I’m still getting up by my usual time: as the sun ascends the tree line and shoots its first shafts of light through the windows of my bedroom.
As poetic as that might sound, the reality of it is that this is precisely the time our critters start stirring. Dogs use the bed as a trampoline in their breakfast anticipation, cats begin to whirl like dervishes crying for kibble, and the moment an overhead light is turned on, the horses see it from the stable, and then all heck breaks loose. And so my life as a self-employed individual can continue to coast on a routine that doesn’t trip up the all-important circadian rhythm, i.e. our physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. As Google adds: these are natural processes that respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants and microbes.
Because we’re human and have an uncanny ability to botch the things up that Mother Nature handed us on a silver platter, some knucklehead came up with the idea to subtract and add an hour twice a year which, statistically, not only creates far more traffic accidents on the Monday following the change, but also heart attacks and strokes. I figured the knucklehead, or heads, were probably decision-makers in our government, so imagine my surprise when I took a deep dive into the research.
According to a 2016 issue of Time Magazine, it was the Germans who first implemented Daylight Savings Time in the hopes that it would save energy during WWI.
However, Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Madness of Daylight Savings Time claims the Germans pilfered the idea from the Brits, specifically, one William Willett, who, in 1907, published The Waste of Daylight in which he explained his light bulb moment (sorry): “the sun shines upon the land for several hours each day while we are asleep,” meaning there “remains only a brief spell of declining daylight in which to spend the short period of leisure at our disposal.” He lobbied Parliament successfully but didn’t live to see it become law in 1915.
Evidently, it didn’t occur to Willett, mourning that he was sleeping through several hours of daylight, just to get up a bit earlier for his morning cuppa and leave the rest of us alone. I despise the practice. It’s not fair to those who have been commuting, or driving a school bus, in the cheerful spring sunshine, finally applauding the end of dark winter mornings, to have Willett’s muck boot push them back down into the mire.
Personally, I’ll continue to use the wren that sings outside my window and the dog pawing my arm as my alarm clock each morning. I’ll let the pastel pinks and golds of the rising sunlight my way to the barn.
But I will, begrudgingly, allow that moving the time forward does have one advantage. The clock in my truck is finally right again.