Daylight Salvation


Saving daylight is hard work the first week, that, and springtime sinking in suddenly too and I’m out of joint.

Waking when the clock says yes the body says absolutely not.

Last week when it was 4 degrees outside and 58 inside when when we woke up, it was copesetic after the house warmed by breakfast time to a comfy 68. The same cold cereal today is torture after a mild night outdoors, without a fire in the wood stove. The identical 68 degrees in here feels bone-chillingly miserable.

More daylight leaves fewer excuses for not getting the dregs of winter cleared away from the yard, the shed, the barn, the garden to make room for spring.

But none of winter’s obligations wane right away so that at least during these weeks of transition, I feel the double shift of two seasons, a foot in each, one in a fluffy slipper, the other with bare toes.

Last week’s small gallery of snow pix is here.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I’ve lived in Arizona most of my life, and we don’t do it here. “Legend” says the AZ mothers got together and said, “Why on earth would we want our kids up for another hour? We treasure the darkness and the bedtime,” and so it was.

  2. That’s some serious snow you got there, Fred! I read that it was the most your area had gotten in about 8 years. Pretty, but it must have been a hassle since you hadn’t gotten so much for such a long time – probably weren’t quite prepared for it.

  3. Well said your description of the ambivalence toward letting go of one season and moving on to the new one. Rather descriptive of the aging/dying process, too.
    What is it about wood stove heat? It can be so cozy with the wood heat, but so chilly at the same temp with the furnace blasting away. I miss my old wood stove.

  4. Indeed, “springing forward” to daylight saving time feels more like dragging forward today, raising the question: when will nightdark saving time return? I think it just did. Good night.