Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring ahead (even if it's not spring)

I’m still not accustomed to the earlier date for starting daylight saving time.

Even in this winter-less winter, it feels too early to have sunlight at dinnertime. Daylight saving seems like it should be a precursor to summer, and that made sense when it used to fall in April, once spring was well under way. To have the clocks change before winter has even ended – by the calendar if not by the thermometer – still seems strange to me.

And yet it’s hard not to welcome the extra daylight, and the irrepressible surge of energy it brings. Losing an hour is hard for me; harder than it should be – as I said to my 19-year-old niece yesterday, I keep thinking someday I’ll be an organized and caught-up enough person that one hour really won’t make a difference to me either way, but unfortunately I’m not there yet – but it’s hard to argue with the tradeoff. Seeing sunlight last well into the early evening is inspiring, no matter when it occurs.

So I struggled to get out of bed at seven Sunday morning, intent on starting what felt like a new season with the change of clocks on the right foot rather than letting myself sleep in. The kids both slept late, not having any interest in making an effort to adjust to the new time, and that gave me hours in the morning with which I would have liked to read the Sunday papers but instead completed my 2011 mileage chart to send our tax accountant. Tedious, but necessary; and a decent way to make good use of the morning.

Energized by the sunshine, I tinkered a little bit with making parts of the house look nicer – rearranging knickknacks, putting away paperwork -- and Rick got the the kids to tidy up the playroom while I was out running. By the end of the day, we all felt as if we’d done a touch of spring cleaning.

The sunlight lasted well past dinnertime. Yes, it’s still technically winter, but the clocks have changed and the daylight stretches into the evening now, which to my mind makes it feel more like the onset of spring than any change in temperature could. Longer days are coming, and with them summer. It was a beautiful start to a new season.

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