Daylight Saving Time

It gets dark a little earlier every afternoon now. The shift accelerated a few weeks ago when we turned the clocks back. Our house, tucked into a rise on the side a long hill, falls into shadow even sooner than for our neighbors up the road.  The sun snags on the top of the tree line some time after 4 o’clock most afternoons and then collapses like a spent balloon, brightness bleeding out into the hardening ground. We tend to think of January and February as the dark of winter, but December is actually the darkest month of year. Every day we lose another few minutes of daylight, culminating in the Winter Solstice, December 21, which in our area will mean we’ll see just a little over nine hours of sunlight.  How fast the night takes hold in the final weeks of this year of pandemic and uncertainty and Blursdays. Here’s a light poem on the subject to help offset the lengthening shadows.

Daylight Savings

by Tess Taylor

How strange it is as we verge on November
and the fields go bare, and days grow tighter
to wake and find, as if from thin air

an unexpected gift: An extra hour.
This generosity recalls the summer’s
easy August days, time and desire

to make long love and read the paper,
both. Unanticipated leisure
makes the passing morning lighter.

The sun on empty vines and stubble fields seems cleaner.
Encroaching thoughts of cold seem further off.
Seem – that is to say, these are measured offers:

by afternoon the light’s late illusion falters.
A cold dark keeps arriving, punctually, sooner.

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21 Responses to Daylight Saving Time

  1. Cheryl Sullivan says:

    I prefer winter and do not mind the the differences in the light. I feel I am different than most people in this respect. Love a brisk winter walk.

  2. Leslie Gold says:

    Exquisite. For me it feels more sad this year…perhaps I merely forget all previous deprivations of light when Spring begins its whispers?

  3. Annette Shear says:

    a lovely description of the sun’s dipping down for the night…
    and then up it comes the following day (THANK GOODNESS)

  4. Jackie says:

    Your beautiful imagery sheds warm light for those dark days.

  5. Anders Gyllenhaal says:

    What a beautiful picture of your place on that long gradual hill. Even with the shadows and lost light, we wish we could see it in late December.

  6. Beata M Newman Scarpulla says:

    Dear Liza,

    Photo captures the essence of this time of year. How beautiful.

    Would be perfect for framing.



  7. Susan Fisher says:

    We have to walk Bentley before it gets totally dark, so I’m keenly aware of how the days are shortening. And this year, more than I remember from past ones, the early darkness is distorting my sense of time. At 6:00 it feels like 9:00.

  8. Beautifully rendered description in both words and photograph. Thank you Liza for this soulful post.


  9. Jennifer Redmile says:

    As I look at this lovely picture, the peace and stillness bring me hope, even as the days grow shorter. I pray that 2021 is a much better year for all, dear cousin. Thank you for sharing yourself and bringing your own light to us.

  10. Carole Hansen says:

    When it’s discussed whether or not to discontinue daylight savings time, I say no thank you. I love the routine of those weekends we lose an hour, then get it back in the Fall. We did have a minor (cat)astrophe this year, though. When we changed the time on the clock over our fireplace, Don didn’t quite get it right on the hook. We weren’t in the room when it came crashing down, taking a few pumpkins (one ceramic) off the mantle. But the cat was, and I’ve never seen him bolt so fast. The clock was fine, the ceramic pumpkin not so much, and Lucky Bear…he has recuperated. Thank you, Liza, I loved this poem.

  11. Ramona DuBose says:

    I think January and February seem colder and darker because there are no Christmas lights to warm our hearts! I’ve noticed people have decorated much earlier this year. We’re all seeking something to celebrate.

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