Darkness is a State of Mind

Sunrise over the river

I’ve written in the past about the degree to which I dislike Daylight Saving Time. I think it’s a dumb idea. It doesn’t surprise me that politicians keep it alive, because retail and recreation industries of all sorts like it. It also comes as no surprise that those same politicians are quite capable of ignoring the facts that their biannual-messing-with-time serves no tangible economic purpose. The fact that, some studies show, switching may actually cause us to use more energy doesn’t matter to politicians the way facts in general don’t matter to politicians.

Will you give me money?

Yes, I will.”

I like your facts.”

People who like DST usually point to longer days. Later sunsets and the ample afternoon and evening hours they will have to enjoy the world around them. To them I say: “I’m happy for you.”

Unfortunately, I am a morning person, and that’s the reason I despise the arrival DST even more than the concept itself. DST arrives earlier now than it did when I was a younger morning person. These days, it arrives just as I am beginning to make my morning commute as the sun is rising. Today, that commute returns to darkness.

It’s no secret that I like to stop at Great River Park on my way to work. I’ve written about how there’s something about a river, and I still feel that way. I often carve a few minutes out of my morning commute to sit or walk along the shore of the Connecticut River, and those few minutes affect my mood. They make me happy. They don’t make it any easier to go to work, which is why my next stop is Dunkin Donuts, but they help carry me through the day.

I find that the beneficial effect of those few minutes by the river is amplified when it’s light out. Oh sure, I feel really good when I snag a photo of the city lights reflecting in the dark water, but it’s not the same. That’s a feeling of accomplishment. Standing by the river when the sun is rising is a feeling of awe and wonder. It’s a feeling that says everything is alright in what I know is a tragically imperfect world. It’s a spiritual feeling that only sunshine can provide.

If I’m lucky, I see some wildlife. Perhaps a few ducks on the water. Once or twice a year, a Blue Heron searching the shore for breakfast. A squirrel or six rummaging through the trash bins, or just some birds overhead. My commute was about to intersect their morning routine. A routine that they will keep on schedule, but I will miss. They aren’t concerned with time, or time zones and they certainly aren’t going to get up earlier or later because some politicians say so.

Today’s gallery contains scenes from the weeks before DST. Scenes I won’t see again for a few more weeks. Scenes I will miss.


  1. I have a love/hate relationship with DST. I do love the light later in the day, but I might love it more in the morning. The return to darkness this morning makes it feel like January (and the snow isn’t helping matters). I see some of the prettiest sunrises on the morning commute during certain times of the year and it’s always an inspiration to have a great day. I suppose I’ll get over it later when it’s still light (and snowing) at 6:00 tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a kid, I loved daylight savings. That meant it was truly summer and I could stay outside longer. Nowadays – I really don’t care one way or the other. Your duck and nighttime photos are great though.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dan, many things about this post speak to me. The peace before the work day begins is an especial one. I too, would enjoy the wildlife. Yes, there is something vital about rivers. It has touched me many times. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

  4. DST is one of those things that I fail to get worked up about. It’s a spring and fall ritual that I just don’t have strong feelings about one way or another. On the other hand, daybreak at 4 am in the height of summer might not be my favourite.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry Dan… I was so full of dread about the snowstorm headed my way that the time change barely registered. I’m not able to shovel snow, so I hope for a miracle of kindness… but around here…
    You know, they don’t have Daylight Saving Time in Arizona. How do you like the desert? Somehow I doubt that you do. :) Have a marvelous Monday. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the longer light in the evening because that means I can walk to Mom’s for a month or so in midsummer, and I can drive to and from my evening critique session (not the same event as visiting Mom, I hasten to say) in the light. But those are the only benefits. Oh — as GP Cox says, when the kids were little, it was great watching them play in the back yard until all hours at midsummer; those memories are magical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved the longer hour in the summer when I lived in Seattle. It’s so much farther north, that it was light until almost 10:00. But I still had morning sunshine (when it wasn’t raining).


    1. Thanks Lois. I love watching the way the reflection changes on the buildings. I have had photos before of the point where the light bounces back onto the river. That’s my favorite part of the spring and fall. It will happen, it will just take a few weeks now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am also a morning person, but my morning ritual involves coffee and a computer, not a commute. I do understand, however, how a loss of an important element of your day, if only for a few weeks, can be a hardship.

    I would vote for the end of changing clocks so that we don’t have a jarring adjustment twice a year. Pick a system, and stick with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. For several years, my wife lived in Southern Minnesota and I stayed in the Twin Cities during the week. Every Monday, I would drive the hundred miles back to work. I greeted the early light of late February with enthusiasm…and then came DST.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. With you on the DST nonsense. It doesn’t help anyone. I go to work in the dark and bed while the sun is still up (at 10 p.m. central time). Stupid, stupid, stupid and the folks who buy into need to grow a brain stem.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. DST gives my neighbor a longer time on Sunday to mow his lawn. Yes, that’s right. He waits all weekend and then about 6:00 pm he cranks up the lawn mower. Now he can wait until 7:00 pm and do it during the dinner hour like he does all summer. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. I think it’s the changing that bothers me most. Even if they had left DST starting in April, I would have still been driving in the light, just less of it. I wouldn’t get slammed back into darkness. The curved building is also faced with pink granite, so it has a very nice look. It’s one of my favorites.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s still in the blue period and it’s 5 til 7! I don’t need to get up quite so early to enjoy my favorite time of the morning now.

        I think I could happily live with this time all year long. Though I am finding it difficult to get up at my regular time of 5am!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. :) Up until my early 30’s I was sleeping 12-13 hours a night! You wouldn’t see me before noon on the week-ends. I slept like a teenager for a long, long time. My two children are the same.

            Sometime in my mid 30’s my whole internal clocked changed and I became an early riser. I don’t require nearly as much sleep. About 6 hours a night is all I’m sleeping now, but I do like a 10-15 minute nap in the afternoon if I can get one. I’m up at 4am if I go to bed before 10pm. I usually just wake up about 5am, but with the time change I’m getting up an hour and a half later! I need to set my alarm to get up at 5am and get it readjusted.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. You know where I stand on this, but I’ll write it again, Daylight Savings Time is STUPID!
    Like, 99% of the time, I don’t care when the sun comes up or when it goes down, but I always care when they change it with a clock. While I wasn’t a fan of driving home in the dark at 5-somethin, or tryin to get my kids in bed while the sun shined, it’s not like it stays that way forever!
    We didn’t do this in Indiana until recently, so I don’t know how to cope with it. My body doesn’t like it. I feel rough.
    I am sorry they have stolen your morning views. They have stolen my energy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Like clockwork, my wife can count on twice a year the time when I go off about “Savings” Time. Truly one of the most moronic and easily fixable issues of our…time. Kids going off to school in the dark, people disoriented even more than usual, accidents increase…why? WHY?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems to be a recurring topic here, as well. I tried not to gripe about it, but it’s just so annoying. The change in the fall feels better, because of that extra hour of sleep, but the morning light is pretty much gone by then anyway. Thanks for the comment and moral support.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I must admit that I do not quite get the function of DST here in the Philly burbs as the dusk and dawn hours don’t fluctuate that wildly across the year. However, in Scotland (which is where I am from) being that much further north, the change of that hour can make a big difference to light levels when there are so few hours of daylight available each day. I spent one winter working in an internal classroom with a paltry lightwell. I travelled to work in the dark and I travelled back in the dark. I was a weekday vampire. Ever so often, someone in the UK suggests abolishing DST now that we are not a predominantly agrarian society, but it is the spectre of Scottish kiddies getting squashed on roads on the pitch dark walk to school that quashes the discussion each time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know that short-day / long day feeling. I lived in Seattle, and it’s much farther north than CT or PA (where I was from originally). My ex-wife worked in an underground data center. If she didn’t get out at lunch, she didn’t see daylight except on weekends. At least I had a 3rd floor office, where I could watch the short day pass from my desk. It still makes you sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hate hate hate DST. I already get up very early, and now I am up for hours in blackness. Today I overslept (still getting over the flu) and damn it was DARK AT 7AM. I want them to stop messsing with our inner clocks. And BTW, Sammy doesn’t know the clocks changed so he is trying to climb on us at 5am. Blame the cat abuse on DST… (really folks, no cat abuse ever ever happens at our house… only owner abuse!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand cat owner abuse. Yeah. they aren’t changing their schedule because we changed that clock. We also have to phase in Maddie’s medication to the new time. A full hour makes a difference. Just leave it alone.


  15. ‘“Will you give me money?”

    “Yes, I will.”

    “I like your facts.”’

    I love this part. So true of politicians.

    I’ve never understood that DST thing. Started reading about it once but lost interest. I should try again. Thanks Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No, but people still follow different time zones because of their democratic rights. Some On-Time, some Always-10-Minutes Late, some Hope-They-Don’t-Change-Plans.

        Liked by 1 person

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