Springing forward - how can you save daylight?

Playl's Ponderings


Daylight Saving Time was introduced in 1918, and we’ve been confused ever since. Don’t ask me to explain it or give the history of the “on again, off again” practices in the U.S. of trying to save daylight or power or provide more time for recreation when the weather is most likely to be favorable. I wasn’t around when it started, but I have observed some political attempts to do away with it or make it permanent.  Try Googling “History of Daylight Saving Time.” That will really confuse any intelligent person.

One year that I remember - in a foggy way - confused a bunch of people in Kentucky. I was a teenager at the time. As I recall, that year the Commonwealth of Kentucky decided that localities could make their own decision about whether or not to observe DST. My hometown of Madisonville chose to spring forward in the spring, but Hopkins County decided to hold on to Central Standard Time. Madisonville is the county seat of  Hopkins County. Talk about confusing! The tiny farm where my family lived was adjacent to - and just outside of - the city limits. Every day that summer I woke up on Central Standard Time, but if I went to town I lost an hour.

My dad’s business, Playl Electric Co., was located in the city. So when he got to work it was nearly an hour earlier than it had been when he left home. Funny thing. The cows didn’t care where the hands of the clock were when it was time for milking. Nor did the hogs and chickens worry about DST or CST when they were fed.

The conflict in hours did produce a lot of laughs among the local populations, though. One story that was shared for a long time involved a couple of older retired gentlemen that passed time on the benches that surrounded the county courthouse. They were members of what was known, affectionately, as “the spit and whittle club.” As they sat whittling pieces of wood into toothpicks, the shavings falling all around them, one of the gentlemen loaded up the saliva that his chaw of "baccy” had built up, and he spit on the sidewalk.

Now remember the courthouse was on county property, but the sidewalk in front of them was in the city. The clock on the courthouse was an hour slower than the clocks in business on all four sides of the square.

Sitting on a bench in the county, the gentleman had just spat on the sidewalk which was in the city. Turning to his whittling partner, he drawled, “Do you realize my spit hit the sidewalk almost an hour earlier than it left my mouth?”

We sought humor anywhere we could find it.

Truth is, changing the recognized time won’t actually save any daylight nor will it add a single minute to the time God has given us on earth. We can change the standard by adopting year-round Daylight Saving Time - or doing away with it altogether - but we won’t add one second to our life. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus offered this question, “Can any of you, by being anxious, add even one heartbeat to your life?” (Playl Paraphrase)

Obviously none of us can make our days longer, but we can certainly add meaning to the days. We can live wisely, follow God’s teachings and guidance and by doing so put more into the days and hours we live.

In that same Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said to His followers, “You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Even the most powerful politician cannot save daylight, but all of us can present the light of the Father and the Son to a world in spiritual darkness.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

-Steve Playl, playlsr@yahoo.com


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