On falling back

What an auspicious day! November 1st... All Saints Day... and we're back to normal! Yes! Some of you are upset that Daylight Savings Time ended early this morning and we're back to dark winter nights...I am elated!

In my previous post, I ranted about the first official day of summer arriving long after our artificial summer was ushered in by the activation of Daylight Savings Time months before. And my rant has not lessened during the ensuing months, even though, I must admit, I am enraptured by those pink southern twilights when the sun goes down...at 10 pm!

But I love the ever-darkening late fall-to-winter afternoons even more. I can't really explain it...It just feels right somehow. And I don't think it's only my aversion to our insistence on manipulating the hours to our satisfaction through DST. No, I think Daylight Savings Time corrupts something very primal, something instinctual, core principles of nature, like bears hibernating or leaves turning red or geese in formation or hummingbirds heading for Mexico.

Maybe I'm just tired of feeling guilty if I have not taken advantage of every hour of light, working outside until ten and having no remaining hours to unwind unless I steal some from the midnight morning, leaving me exhausted for the next day's work. Yes, maybe I'm happy to go in when it gets dark at five, giving me some time for me and mine without robbing me of sleep.

Maybe I'm a leaf ready to detach and make it's journey downward. Maybe I'm a frog digging into the mud, or a beetle burrowing into the bark of a fallen tree, or a spent flower under a blanket of pine needles. Maybe I'm in my Papa Bear hibernation mode.

Or maybe I'm just being my normal melancholic self, thoroughly enjoying the darkness, death, and decay, the beautiful minor key music of year's end. 

The seasons come and go as they should. The cacophony of cicadas in spring can be heard at noon or an hour later...it makes no difference. The flowers fold their petals for the last time right on time, ten in the morning or four in the afternoon or nine at night, in August or September or October...it makes no difference.

We are the only ones obsessed with scheduling every sliver of light and dark, every minute of every hour of every day. All the rest of nature moves seamlessly through each season, doing what it does when it's time to do it, that's all. Never a thought to change when it's done, how it's done, why it's done, who should really be doing it.

Sometimes I think that the only thing setting us apart from the other animals, from all of nature, is that we have convinced ourselves we are set apart. We believe we are evolution's greatest achievement and, like a spoiled child, feel we no longer need to honor the source of our birth. We seem to forget that evolution bred many a species no longer sharing the planet with us, including a vast number of humanoids. We forget that all it takes is a hiccup of nature--a grumpy old volcano or a slippery seismic shift or a frosty ice age or a sky flashing hot or a rising water level or a pesky meteor or a hyperactive viral infection--and we are no longer here.

I'm sure the dinosaurs never saw it coming...

Enough, cc, enough! It's November 1st and DST is dead (for a few months, anyway)! The convent bells are set to ring in prayers for a tired old world. The air is golden with the lowering sun...

And it's only 4 o'clock! 

Rejoice, and sing a sad song in celebration!...Let the dark days begin!

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  • Tamerlane Franks

    Tamerlane Franks



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