Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring Forward, Fall Back

Today is my least favorite day of the year: the day we change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time.

And this least favorite day of the year is my MOST least favorite in Indiana.

Non-Hoosier friends may not know (I didn't know until I moved here) that Indiana is not on Central Time, as right-minded people would expect, but on Eastern Time. That is to say, we are in the wrong time zone. Here in Greencastle, on the western edge of the state, we're pretty much due south of Chicago, which is on Central Time. We're actually farther west than Nashville, which is on Central Time.

It is dark here in the mornings. As in: dark. It's also cloudy here much of the time, so even when the sun does rise, the morning isn't what you could call bright and sunny.

Each day as spring approaches, and it's a little bit lighter in the morning, my heart rejoices. I feel the same joy from the morning's paler sky that I feel when I see crocuses pushing their way through last year's dead leaves or daffodils beginning to open their tightly furled golden flowers. Spring is on its way!

Except that I know that horrid day is coming, when we change the clocks ahead one hour, losing not only one sweet precious hour of our lives which we won't regain until the fall, but everything we gained from all those lightening mornings.

It's dark in the morning all over again.

How dark? This morning - I looked this up - the sun rose here at 8:01.Yes, the sun doesn't rise here until after eight o'clock!

Of course, we get those long, light, Indiana evenings. But I'm not an evening person. I'm a morning person. I'm one who rises each day and says with Emily Dickinson:

Will there really be a "Morning"?
Is there such a thing as "Day"?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?

The only consolation I can offer myself is that at least now the worst has happened, we've lost that cherished hour of morning light, so from now on, every day will really be another day of progress, genuine promise, with a minute more of light each morning. And this time not light that will snatched away by some cruel clock-shifters, but light that we can keep for good. It's sort of how I actually look forward to finding out the terrible financial hit I'll take on taxes (always around this same time of year). I might as well find out the worst, face it whatever it is, pay it whatever it costs, and then start saving all over again.

So it's heartbreakingly dark this morning. But it will be lighter tomorrow, and lighter still the day after that. The dogwood will bloom. Easter will come with its hallelujah of resurrection.

I'll give the last words to Emily:

Oh some Scholar! Oh some Sailor!
Oh some Wise Men from the skies!
Please to tell a little Pilgrim
Where the place called "Morning" lies!

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