Though it may seem that we just set our clock back only months ago – to be honest it was less than five months ago – it’s time to spring gaily forward even though spring is still 10 days away. Because we follow – often foolishly though in this case we are their biggest trading partner so needs must – our American cousins we are making that one hour adjustment tomorrow. Our European friends are waiting until the last Sunday in March after the official arrival of Spring while much of the Middle East will have jumped ahead a few days earlier on the Friday. And let’s not even look at the Southern Hemisphere let alone Saskatchewan which doesn’t observe DST however since it is theoretically in the Mountain Time Zone but observes Central Time is actually on DST all year round.
Now there’s all sorts of discussions going on about the advantages and disadvantages of going on Daylight Savings Time and because, as I’ve often said, I don’t get involved in politics my question is “does it affect when the sun is over the yardarm?” That question is easily answered – it doesn’t because the “sun is always over the yardarm” someplace in the world. However experience has taught me that there are two things that are seriously affected by the push of that hour to and fro – animals and church attendance.
We are often told that dogs (and cats for those of you what has them) have no sense of time but any of our Hounds from Hell have always felt the time change. And it’s particularly apparent at feeding time; not so much the spring forward as that means earlier “mangers” which for dachshunds is any time you want to feed them. But that “fall back” thing does take some adjusting. The indignity of not being fed at the time god intended but an hour later can led to some interesting conversations (oh come of it you have conversations with your dog or cat so don’t get so bloody high-handed with me!) and interactions.
And church? Well any priest/minister/teacher can tell you that the Sunday of the time change at least two or three people, if not entire families will show up late/early for mass/service/Sunday school. I myself remember on particularly dreary morning standing on the back steps of Saint Thomas Huron Street surrounded by swirling autumn leaves like something out of one of those pathetic Dickens’ stories waiting for someone to come along to open the vestry door. Or arriving on a bright sunny morning in time for the Gloria when I should have been madly swinging a thurible an hour earlier during the Credo.
And here for all my church choir/organist friends is a little something that you might want to add to tomorrow’s service. It would be a fine hymn for that period of mediation that follows the nap most of us take during the sermon. And it’s sung to one that lovely old Welsh hymn tune Cwm Rhondda.