Sunday, April 3, 2011

Who's saving who?

Most of the world partook in the joys and woes of daylight savings this week. For those of us who gained an hour of sunlight, cheers to us, for those who lost, better luck next time. Daylight savings is the double-edged sword on the seasonal battlefield. When you lose that hour of sleep, but subsequently gain an hour of sunlight, you’re torn. You want to celebrate the coming golden age of late night frolics but you’re SO pissed about losing that one extra sleep hour you stage an angry bed in, thus robbing yourself of the longer exposure to the rays. When the pendulum swings the other way you’re all ode to joy about the hour sleep in, super smug that you not only had an extra 60 minutes of dozing but you also haven’t wasted the day and have time to fill it with baking, helping children, or watching Buffy. That smugness is washed away with the encroaching 4pm sun set.

I’ve noticed some parts of the world take a rogue stance on the saving of light (Africa and Asia for example, or one half of Australia). They seem to be comfortable with the declining daylight hours and instead of deceiving themselves with tricks of the swatch they confront the challenge head on and laugh in the face of actual darkness. As much as I like the idea of being super brave and not afraid of the dark, I think I like the idea of being ‘given’ light a little more. It’s a special moment when you look at the clock and realise it’s 5:00pm (but guys, it looks like 3:30pm!!) and you start to excite yourself with the growing potential for longer outdoor activities and open windows.

Iceland are the ultimate daylight savers, experiencing 24 hour daylight around the summer solstice. Above is an awesome Iceland sunrise, and is probably one of the best photos I've ever taken. I'm also bragging that I've been to Iceland. Who goes to Iceland?? Me. 

For those of us who have the daylight awards saver account, have you ever done it, live? Like, actually acknowledged the moment? Imagine that! You’re having a quiet mojito, the clock creeps it’s way towards 2am and all of a sudden, TIME SHIFTS. You are actually, live, in a time machine. Next year you could make this a real event. You could hold a ‘back to the future’ style party where everyone needs to dress in the past, or the future (depending on where you’re going), everyone will have an iPhone, so you can watch time change itself LIVE, and you’ll make jokes all night about how that ‘was so one hour ago’.  If I were at that party I would look around with really wide eyes as it happened and annoy everyone with huge statements about how we were travelling through time, and what is time anyway, and why are the Mayans freaking me out so much with their impending apocalypse just because their didn’t have enough pages in their calendar? The time travel thing would take me a while to let go, much like every new years eve, when I scream HAPPY NEW YEAR! fairly constantly until at least 2am.

We digress, but the growing light IS something to celebrate, parties or not. When we talk about ‘feeling light’ it’s a sensation we associate with freedom, a lack of worry, good digestion, all very good things. When we feel dark it’s signifying a displacement, a burgeoning anger, that little, undefinable thing which serial killers and ugly babies have… Thus, lightness is goodness.

So as I write this at 5:30pm I remember a time when the afternoon felt like midnight, the house like a dank cave, and the TV like a companion. Now, when the sunlight begins to bounce off the cutlery during a late night dinner, when the red sun sinks below houses as I yawn and change for bed, when we hear what I thought were birds chirping until 9pm (they’re bats) I’m thankful that someone thought enough to save a little daylight for me. 

Thanks for going back to the future Marty. It helped a lot. 

Hamburg tomorrow, would have been nice to have been there a day earlier. Maybe some of those golden rays would have stuck around in people’s smiles. Ahhhh… Be happy Germany.

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