Growing up on a farm, after my father put me on a tractor at 13 to help him with the field work, I spent most of my hours when I was not in school, outdoors in working one field or another. I had spent time outside before, when I could escape the housework inside the house, and could gauge how long I was out by the position of the sun. Being in the fields all day helped me refine my sense of sun time. It didn’t take long for me to be able to tell the time by the position of the sun. I came to be able to tell within fifteen minutes of the actual time. That was enough for what I needed. The sun changed its position so gradually each day, that my sense of time could change with it. When I was younger I had been amazed that my father and grandfather could tell the time by the position of the sun, so I had been eager to be like them and learn too.

That all changed when city people voted for daylight savings time.

City people gave no thought to those whose lives revolved around the position of the sun. Livestock woke up at the same sun time and their needs were set according to the part of the day. They didn’t care about clocks. All of a sudden, on one day, my timing with the sun was off by an hour. I could no longer plan the length of daylight I had available to do work outside. The change in autumn was most disruptive because the winter reduction in field work meant less time outside to learn the “new” position of the sun each day. In spring the change was just before the fields were workable, so as I was able to spend more time out working and adjusting to the new time. I would learn the “new” time again, though it would take about a month; that was a month of disorientation each year.

After my father was killed, and the farming stopped, I no longer spent so much time outside and my sense of time with the sun deteriorated. Office work has no connection to the sun. I was cut off from my sense of time and it has never been regained.

I don’t like daylight savings time. It disrupts my life twice each year.

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