Over supper the other day, my wife said she had noticed something while driving home from work, and I just shouldered my way into her sentence and man-splained her something fierce.
“It was still light out,” I said.
“You’re right. That’s what I was going to say.”
I’d noticed it, too. For months we have trundled back from work in the dark, staring at red taillights, the black lid of winter clamped over our heads. And now there was a faint glow in the west, as if the world were starting to renew itself — or there was a massive fire at a landfill.
She said it was nice, and I agreed. But, c’mon, let’s be honest. We’re grateful that it’s not looking like midnight in a coal mine when we leave work? Is this what we’ve come to? Again?
Hey, you know what I noticed? When I open the closet door, a rabid mongoose doesn’t spring out and go for my face. Things are looking up!
You know what else? When I put on my shoes, they’re not full of cold oatmeal! Another sign of hope!
And here’s something else: I shook out some cereal into a bowl this morning, and the bag wasn’t full of thumb-sized beetles!
It’s the little things.
But of course we are grateful for the extra sunlight, because it means that March is working as scheduled. This has been the winter that broke a lot of people, and the first week of March made everyone feel like a chicken you take from the freezer, and the label says: “Use or freeze by 03.12.16.” So you toss it, because something must have happened to those breasts all those months in the darkness. Something bad. They have freezer burn.
We all have freezer burn.
March is the first point when we can start to indulge the annual mass delusion we call “hope,” because the iconography for the next holiday is a green shamrock, and somehow that makes us think we’ll see clover on the lawn in a few weeks. We would weep with joy if we saw clover in a few weeks: Thank you, St. Patrick, it’s a miracle.
Of course, in four months we’ll be cursing the clover and squirting Roundup on it. But at this point, we’d be delirious to see dandelions. Even the skeleton ones that lost all their yellow.
We know it’s not over. We know that spring is like an item on Amazon that’s not currently available but is estimated to be in stock in four to six weeks. But what if we took matters into our own hands? What if we all decided, today, right here, right now, that we would just ...
... move the hands of the clock forward an hour?
Whoa, you say, we’re talking the sanctity of time here. We can’t just decide willy-nilly that it’s 8 a.m. when it’s really 7.
Look, if everyone heeds my call and we all agree that this is the action we should take, we can all just pretend that there’s nothing abnormal about arbitrarily picking a date and, when we get up that morning, changing all the clocks so they show a different time than it actually is.
I’ve never tried to use this space for a cause, but after this winter, I think it’s about time. Spring forward, if I may coin a phrase. If it works, maybe we can add a day to February some year, just to show the calendar that it can’t push us around, either.
Call it Daylight Spending Time. Who’s with me?