The first morning of the “Fall back” phase of our goofing around with time and sunlight, and I like it. But not for the reasons that you’re likely thinking. It brings back pleasant memories.
I have always enjoyed trekking to the past to recall the moments that have helped shape my sense of life. Sometimes I find treasures to bring with me to the present to provide comfort, smiles, perspective or simply a pleasant image. The seasonal shifting of the clock provides one of those simple treasures.
My grandmother hated the fact that the clocks were reset. I was ten years old when the use of Daylight Savings Time became a uniform application across states. Grandmom could not understand how time could be changed (it certainly wasn’t in her years working on the farm; it was out at daylight and back in at dark, pure and simple). My dad had to explain that time wasn’t really being changed, but that there was just basically an “agreement” to change clocks to provide more convenient sunlight. After a few years, he quit explaining and a several years after that she quit complaining.
Certainly, the twice-a-year complaining about time changes did not provide Norman Rockwell-like memories of family times, but it does remind me of family times as a kid when my primary concern was what time my buddies and I would meet on the street to play. Unlike the Rockwell painting of a strongly visual moment, the memories of youthful times connect me to moments that I don’t want to forget. It is not just the moment that matters, but also the conditions and times in which the moments occurred.
The sun is rising earlier today; of course, it is not. The sun’s cycle is consistent and persistent. It is we who want to change and adjust our clocks so that the hours of sunlight more conveniently accommodate our wants. Somewhere, my grandmom is still shaking her head that it made much more sense on the farm when you adjusted to daylight hours to get your work done. And, cup of coffee in hand, I recall a ten-year old boy listening to his grandmother and learning about simplicity and common sense in family banter. I try to listen to those times.