Keeping the Days Bright

I like winter. I like the shorter days. I like the cold. But there’s something undeniably joyful and refreshing about “springing forward.” After months of darkness, we emerge from our little hobbit holes of snow and ice to days that are longer, brighter, and seemingly more happy. We do lose an hour of sleep when Daylight saving time makes us adjust our clocks, but in that one hour we lose we gain so much.

When I was younger, I never understood daylight savings time. Were we adjusting to a “normal” time zone, or readjusting the hours of the day to fit our schedules? It felt like humanity playing God, changing times at what seemed to be an arbitrary date in March and October, then having everyone for the next two months complain about the adjusted clocks. Were we getting more sunlight in the morning or at night? I probably still couldn’t answer any of these questions. But what I do know is that I can eat dinner and it’s still light out. Not everything is gloomy anymore—it really does bring the light out from the darkness.

As someone from the season-less California, I never really understood the big deal of winter. But having gone through two New England winters, I understand now how miserable the last of February is. You want spring; you want warmth; you want green, and life, and vibrance. But the darkness puts a damper on everything. I now appreciate with much more clarity how the emergence of light represents an ending to that misery.

Besides, we wait for months for the reds and oranges of autumn to turn to the muted grays and browns of winter, and with bated breath for the mundaneness of winter to turn to the blooming vibrance of spring. Maybe it’s the ice melting on the pond, or the grass turning green again, but I cannot wait for the trees to bloom, and the flowers to sprout some much needed color into my life. Daylight saving time reminds me that there is something worth looking forward to, even when things seem to be their darkest. Daylight saving and the sunlight it brings to the later hours of the day–It’s something tugging us forward, toward a more colorful and vibrant period. It’s the sign that we’re approaching the rainbow after the snowstorm. All we have to do is wait until winter is over, and the light reaches us to send this soft but so hopeful message.

Daylight savings also marks not just the end of a winter but the beginning of spring. A fresh start. A new term, a new year, a new season. It brings up my memories of past springs, flowers blooming, and warmer weather. The longer summer days allow us to enjoy those sunsets, and still have time at night to be with our friends and families. Staying in daylight savings time allows us to extend those good feelings through the rest of the year.

We gain light, and happiness, and color. Think back to your happiest memories of sunny days past: maybe they happen in the fall, or the winter, or the summer and spring—really, it doesn’t matter. But, imagine giving those memories an extra hour, to spend with your family, or your friends, or whomever and think about how you can use that hour. Springing forward gives us time—let’s use it.