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Trust fall

Do you have clocks that need to be “turned” back? I mean the kind that you need to actually put your hands on. I do, and not just the digital clocks in my car and on my microwave, but clocks with minute and hour hands that sweep perpetually forward counting time minute after minute, hour after hour. I have several, in fact – a small travel alarm clock I keep next to my bed, a wall clock that chimes a bird call every hour, and others. I even have a beautiful brass pendulum clock although I admit that I haven’t wound the mainspring in it for years. It’s just a pretty thing that sits on a shelf and reminds me of my husband who received it decades ago from an uncle who bought it in Germany while stationed there.

This weekend, we turned our clocks back to standard time. It makes a noticeable difference here where the sun has been rising around 7:30 a.m. Kids have been waiting for school buses, and people were getting themselves off to work and the sun wasn’t even up yet. And even after rising, it takes a while for it to feel like it’s daylight. So, we have a semi-annual debate among those who think we pick one time, daylight saving or standard, once and for all and just stick to it. Others, like me, are in favor of keeping the current system which, over time, has been adjusted to begin later in the year and end earlier in spring.

But the main complaint I hear this week is that now it gets dark too early. I don’t like it. I get out of work and it’s dark already. It’s gloomy. It’s depressing. And it’s getting colder. And on and on. And on. Right. I get it. I even used to say those very things. But I’ve changed my mind.

Because that’s what it really is. It’s a mindset. Now, I choose to go with the flow. For one thing, I like to get up in daylight. For another, where I live, the longest day of the year has six hours and four minutes more hours of daylight than the shortest. So, no matter how you cut it, your deepest winter days are going to have about 40 percent less daylight than your high summer. So don’t blame changing the clocks for your blues. Blame the earth’s orbit. And – news flash – we aren’t resetting that every November or March. Around here, winter days are simply shorter. A lot shorter.

So, I’ve decided to drop into this time change like a trust fall. Just fall back, letting myself go and recognize those longer daylight hours will catch me in their supportive arms now and once more when spring and summer come around again. Complaining about time and darkness or light won’t move the sun or the earth. On the other hand, trusting that nature knows her way around fall (and, winter, spring and summer, too) makes it easier to appreciate the wonder of how this all works.


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