Carpe Lucem: Daylight Savings

 Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’ 

You’ve begun to feel it — spring is looming.  No longer is it dark both when I enter work and when I leave it. This Sunday marks Daylight Savings time so put your clocks forward an hour (remember: Spring ahead, Fall back).  I know will gladly loose an hour of sleep to give me another hour of sunlight daily. 

Maximizing the amount of daylight has very practical purposes: more sun later means less lights turned on and less energy used. Time was standardized with the advent of the American railroad system at the onset of the twentieth century. Before then, telling time was somewhat arbitrary — a fact that gives daylight savings and time-keeping more of a romantic feel than one might expect in our very punctual day and age.

The first thing that comes to mind with daylight savings time and the onset of spring is that high school english textbook favorite: “gather ye rosebuds while ye may / Old Time is still a-flying.”  Then I remembered that there’s a sweet Dorothy Parker verse about DST:

“My answers are inadequate
To those demanding day and date
And ever set a tiny shock
Through strangers asking what’s o’clock;
Whose days are spent in whittling rhyme-
What’s time to her, or she to Time?”
I have a feeling I may not be feeling so poetic on Monday morning when 7 a.m. feels like 6 a.m., however.

Acacia has lived in DC since graduating from Vassar College with degrees in English and Italian. She cries daily at the thought of her imminent departure from this beloved city, as she will begin a Fulbright teaching grant in the Campania region, Italy come October. She’ll be blogging that experience too. Get at her: or follow her on twitter.

One thought on “Carpe Lucem: Daylight Savings

  1. Sorry to burst the ‘energy conservation’ bubble, but DST has no appreciable effect on the reduction of energy usage. Recent surveys in CA and IN have shown its effect is statistically insignificant.

    The original purpose was indeed to do just that, to reduce the evening usage of inefficient incandescent lighting. But modern power usage patterns are much different now, so that ‘benefit’ is no longer valid.

    I’d rather do without changing all the clocks and syncing them twice a year, but I do like me the sunlight stretching towards 9 pm in the summer. I guess it balances out…