We all know it’s going to happen, yet every year it seems to take us by surprise. Maybe we are in denial. The frenetic pace of Summer spills over as we transition into Fall. We cherish those remaining sunny weekends and then Halloween hits.
This marks the beginning of the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest. The gloom of rain and clouds and darkness that I’ve termed “permacloud” as it’s seemingly permanent. We are teased with warm weather in the Spring, but it always gives way to permacloud until the 4th of July.
This inevitable chain of events all seems to begin with the annual changing of the clocks. Yes, I’m talking about Daylight Saving Time. The ritual of daze and confusion that seems to permeate our lives as we transition back and forth an hour in the Fall and the Spring.
Day 1 and I’m trying to adjust to the change of time and space. Light has shifted and it marks the race towards Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Yesterday, after changing all the clocks in the house, both cars, all our watches and appliances, I remembered a book I picked up last year and never read. A book about the story behind Daylight Saving Time.
A fascinating book about the history of Daylight Saving Time that reads like a novel. Who knew history could be so interesting?
Benjamin Franklin conceived of it. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle endorsed it. Winston Churchill campaigned for it. Kaiser Wilhelm first employed it, and more recently, the United States fought an energy crisis with it. For several months each year, for better or worse, it affects vast numbers of people throughout the world. And for one hundred years it has been a subject of recurring controversy in the United States, Britain, and dozens of other countries. But to trace the beginnings of daylight savings time, we must first look to Paris.