The sun has started waking us up earlier. A funny little phenomenon called “Daylight Savings Time” made it that way. We moved our clocks back on Saturday night and woke up at 6 am on Sunday, watching the sun come up over Pots and Pans, waiting for some light to help us assess the recent neighbor call regarding a cow (or three or four) out in a pasture by the highway.
I remember when moving the clocks back meant moving the hand on an actual clock. I look around my house and I realize I don’t have an actual clock anywhere. Our clocks blink blue numbers on stove tops and microwaves, on telephones and digital temperature gauges and cellphones, computers and iPads that are smarter than us and don’t even need a human hand to remind them to change. They are programmed to know.
They do the same when we cross the river into Mountain time, switching swiftly and we gain an hour. Switching back and we’ve lost it.
I’ve spent that last few days looking at those clocks, the one on my phone and the one on
the stove I haven’t managed to change yet, and saying ridiculous things like:
“What time is it really?”
“So, it’s 9 o’clock but it’s really 10 ‘o’clock?”
“It’s 6 am but it’s really 7 am?”
“Man, it gets dark early.”
“Man I am tired.”
“Man, I miss that extra hour of light at the end of the day.”
But what’s in an hour anyway? It’s not like the changing of the clocks changes time. There are still 24 hours in these days and the sun still does what it will do up here where the earth is stripping down and getting ready for winter.
Daylight Savings Time, moving the clocks, adjusting the time, is just a human’s way to control things a bit. Moving time forward in the spring months means farmers and ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts get to stay out under that sun, working on the tractor, chasing the cattle, climbing a mountain, until 10 o’clock at night when the sun finally starts to disappear.
Moving the clocks backwards in the fall means we might drive to work in the light and get home in the dark.
It means a 5 pm sunset and a carb-loaded dinner at 6. It means more conversation against the dark of the windows, more time to plan for the things we might get done on the weekends in the light.
It means I went to bed last night at 9 o’clock and said something ridiculous like “It’s really 10.”
But it wasn’t. It was 9.
Because we’ve changed things. (Although I still haven’t changed that stove top clock).
I lay there under the covers in the loft and thought about 24 hours in a day.
10 hours of early-November daylight.
If I closed my eyes now, I thought, I would get 8 good hours of sleep.
I wondered about that hour and what I could do with an 60 minutes.
A 25 hour day? What would it mean?
Would it mean we could all slow down, take a few more minutes for the things we rush through as we move into the next hour?
Five more minutes to linger in bed, to wake each other up with sweet words and kisses, to talk about the day and when we’ll meet back at the house again.
Three more minutes to stir cream into our coffees, take a sip and stand in front of the window and watch the sun creep in. A couple seconds to comment on it, to say, “What a sight, what a world, what a morning…”
Four more minutes in the shower to rinse away the night.
Two more moments in front of the mirror to make my hair lay straight and my cheeks blush right.
An extra moment or two for the dogs so that when I throw them their food I might have been given some time to extend that head pat and ear scratch and stick fetching game.
Six more minutes on my drive to town, listening to the radio, the weather report and the school lunch announcements while trailing a big rig with out cussing or complaint. I have an extra hour after all. What’s six more minutes to me now?
Fifteen more minutes for lunch with a friend, a friend I could call for lunch because I have sixty more minutes now and the work can wait.
Five minutes more for a stranger on the street who asks for directions to a restaurant and then I ask her where she’s from and she makes a joke about the weather and we laugh together, a little less like strangers then.
Then, when I get home, eight more minutes on my walk to the top of the hill, to go a little further if I feel so compelled, or maybe just sit on that rock up there and watch it get darker.
Four extra minutes to spice up the roast for supper or stir and taste the soup.
One more minute to hold on to that welcome home hug.
Three more minutes to eat, for another biscuit, to wind down and visit.
And four more minutes to use to say goodnight. To lay there under the blankets, under the roof, under the stars that appeared and be thankful for the extra time.
So what’s in an hour really? Moments spent breathing and thinking and learning. Words spilling out that you should have said, or should have kept, or that really don’t matter, it’s just talking.
Sips on hot coffee cooling fast.
Steps on your favorite trail.
Frustration at dust while you wipe it away, songs hummed while scrubbing the dishes or washing your hair.
Broken nails, tracked in mud, a decision to wear your best dress tonight.
Laughter and sighing and tapping your fingers on your desk while you wait.
Line-standing, hand-shaking and smooches on best friends’ babies as you pass at the grocery store.
Big plans to build things, to change things, to move. Small plans for dinner or a trip to the zoo.
A phone call, an answer, an “I love you too.”
It’s not much, but the moments are ours to pass.
And those moments, they move on regardless of the clock and the hour in which it’s ticking.
Although not many people have clocks that tick anymore.
I suppose that’s just one of the many thing time can change…