There’s a famous quote from a nameless Native American in response to Daylight Savings Time:
Only the white man thinks you can tear a foot off the top of the blanket, sew it to the bottom of the blanket and come away with a bigger blanket.
It’s funny, but I’m not in the laughing mood.
Most people dismiss it as a minor inconvenience, whatever, just a glitch in the calendar.
But there’s a small, burgeoning segment of the population that isn’t fooled. Growing stronger and more politically acute every day, there is a silent renegade minority that sees Daylight Savings Time for what it really is.
It started a long, long time ago…in the very beginning of the Agricultural Revolution…there in the lush and irrigated fields of Mesopotamia…amateur farmers making rows in the shadows of ziggurats…domesticating the cow, befriending the dog, taming the seed, pulling the weed and propagating the tuber…the invention of the Modern Man…since the very cradle of civilization, it’s been an out-and-out war.
Standardized time versus solar time. The industrialist versus the idle. The trans-tribal commerce versus the neighborly barter.
And twice a year, the time-punchers and the day-jobbers score a victory…Daylight Slavings Time.
I don’t want to start trouble…but I’m suspect. I really don’t like early sunsets perfectly synchronized to quitting time. I don’t trust that one bit. I don’t like society and government deciding that sunlight is more productive in the morning than in the afternoon. And I don’t like big business turning my clock.
That means war.
According to most scholars of the subject, standardized time has been winning the battle ever since the first World War when it was first decreed the law of the land. It was re-enacted again during the second World War and it gained even more popularity at the same time our society started living to the rhythms of the global financial network, the electronic communication grid, the pocketwatch, and the transportation schedule.
The commuter versus the ambler. The time-keeper versus the shadow-watcher. At the desk and on hold or out to lunch and off the grid. The broker versus the broke.
It’s war, I tell you.
And it really limits the time I have for tree-hunting.
Just when the getting’s getting good.
That’s why I like to save one pre-approved vacation day for mid-November…some random day of the week…just punch out, boots on, machines off.
It’s called hookey. It’s easy to do. I just clock out.
I clock out and I catch me some color.
Some good, raw, primary color…
…humming in the crisp breeze, polished by the blue sky…
…that rustic, quilted pattern of color we call autumn.