This morning when the alarm clock sounded, I glared at its red face. I knew it was lying to me, telling me the time was 7 o’clock. Its face should have been red with shame. My body knew though, knew perfectly well that it was only 6 a.m. My inner clock is much more reliable than the one that runs my life, the electric one beside my bed. My bleary eyes were in no condition to open. The covers held me captive, and not even the thought of a hot cup of coffee enticed me to crawl from between my cozy flannel sheets.
“Call me again in an hour, you worthless piece of machinery,” I yelled at it, as I burrowed under the covers hoping that I hadn’t awakened Larry. He might worry a bit if he awoke to find me yelling at the clock. A snore from the lump beside me assured me I was safe.
Once again, the time to change our clocks has arrived, just as my body had finally adjusted to the last change back in March. Daylight Saving Time is a nightmare that comes around twice a year to disrupt life as we know it. It’s just one more rope to tie us up.
Only two states in the United States do not observe DST-Arizona and Hawaii. I’m thinking about moving to one of them. I suppose those two states do not logically need any extra hours of sun. Modern DST was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson. I wonder if this man, like so many of our most famous writers, partook of a bit of laudanum or something stronger before he developed his plan. He certainly is well remembered, but in infamy by many. What havoc!
Legislators claim to think that this system will help save energy, but I’m not so sure. If we lived on Benjamin Franklin’s time schedule, it might. However, how many modern people go to bed with the chickens? Old Ben said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” There were reasons for that famous adage. Candles were expensive and wise people knew how to conserve their resources. He and his peers blew out those candles and went to bed. They slept away their troubles, giving their bodies plenty of time to recuperate during the night. Books would be right on the night table the next morning when day light returned to illuminate the words. Obviously, God intended people to read and work during daylight hours and sleep during the dark.
Now our generation, that’s another matter. We live by the clock on the wall or on our cell phones or strapped on our wrists. Time is the great motivator and a strict taskmaster. We sleep as little as we can get away with, burning our electric candles all night and parts of many days. We are hooked, completely enslaved to time. So don’t change it. Leave it and us be.
This morning I bet the preachers in pulpits across the Bible Belt looked at more closed eyes and more yawns than usual. All we church goers were forced up an hour early, or the ones of us who actually made it. When we sprang forward this morning (I’m sure everyone out there got up at 2 a.m. with me to reset all our clocks), we threw away an hour. Mr. Franklin also said, “Do not squander time; that is the stuff that life is made of.” Wise man, Mr. Franklin.
What’s that you say? We’ll get it back in November? Another smart man, William Shakespeare, said, “Neither a lender nor a borrower be.” We shouldn’t be borrowing time against the future either.
Every time I reset one of my million watches, I think of my Uncle Woodrow’s view of Daylight Saving Time. He refused to participate. No one was allowed to reset his clocks. His family could run on whatever time they chose, but as for him and his clocks, they ran on Eastern Standard Time. He was retired and could drop out of the system if he chose. He did choose. Uncle Woodrow never wrote any books like Franklin or plays like Shakespeare, but he too was a smart man.
I wish I could say the same for George Vernon Hudson.