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Are We Timing Light or Lighting Time?


I dread the coming of Daylight Savings Time. I can vote in my local and national elections, but I cannot cast a vote for two of the most essential elements of my daily life: light and time.

You see, when the powers that be take an hour of our time, they also take an hour of our light. We're told that we get it back at the end of the day, but we don't, because one hour's light is like no other. The hour of light we "gain" by clock-trickery at the end of the day is not at all like the hour of dawn we give up. We can awake at the same time, but not at the same light. And this feels to me so profoundly wrong.

The expression "spring forward" itself speaks to the unnaturalness of this process. We are designed to follow the light as it lengthens our days, allowing it to guide us into a gently expanding pattern of life, moving from spring's flowering to summer's flourishing, relaxing into autumn, and then retreating into winter.

And this I will continue try to do, to follow the light, even as I must consult the contrivance of the clock I own, but which, with all my American "freedoms," I do not control.

Text and image, copyright Ysabel de la Rosa.

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