clock photo


This morning I thought about one special hour of the year, and how much I look forward to it.


It always happens in autumn – a bonus, because that’s my favorite season of the year. This single hour has had a strange history, morphing around the calendar and around the globe. It is an artificial, “made-up” hour, and over the centuries it has shrunk to half its size or grown to twice itself, even vanished altogether depending on the prevailing political winds.


Currently this magical hour pops into existence on the first Sunday of November and squeezes back through a tiny time warp on the second Sunday of the next March.


I prepare for the coming of my favorite hour like a grade school child hanging up a stocking by the fireplace, knowing that “Santa” isn’t real but wanting to participate in the magic anyway. So just before I go to bed on the Saturday eve, I go around the house, in an anticipatory ritual of setting every clock back an hour, then colluding in my own pretence by “forgetting” that I have done so.


The next morning, when my body wakes at its usual time, I unshutter one eye to squint at the clock and – this is what makes it my favorite hour! – I’m joyously surprised by the gift of an extra sixty minutes before I need to rise. Like a steeping teapot I snuggle back into the cozy of my warm sheets, happily extracting one more hour of delicious flavors from the night’s dreaming.


Technically, that fabricated hour will be available again the next morning and the next, and all the coming mornings until mid-March. But those hours are never quite the same as this best one, on the first morning when we leave behind Daylight Savings Time.

19 replies
  1. Joal
    Joal says:

    When I was young I remember trying to figure out why this extra hour could just suddenly appear and then be taken away months later. It did seem magical and your description of snuggling back in bed felt so familiar which is one of your marvelous gift of words. You are able to touch the inner spirit of so many people with descriptive revelations of the most common things that we all experience but never seem to remember the magic of the experience. Thank you for nudging my soul when it needed to be touched! I love you!

  2. Charmaine Kulczyk
    Charmaine Kulczyk says:

    Words reflecting life to be savored. I look forward to your book Cynthia. You are never farther than a thought or a blessing away. The ground between us continues to be “holy ground.” Thank you for sharing. Love always my sweet friend of yesteryear and today. Charm’

  3. sarah macdougall
    sarah macdougall says:

    Oh, my, “like a steeping teapot I snuggle back into . . .” I so love this image. Your words are such a gift!

  4. Fred Cook
    Fred Cook says:

    With Mary, my mate, already retired she partakes of this joyous ritual daily. However, the perspective you have given me on this annual event makes me realize I too can have a slice of that nirvana. 14 months and counting to my having it be a daily ritual as well.
    Love You Cynthia.

  5. gary
    gary says:

    Inexorably the Universe creates new balance when change crawls under the radar and dares disrupt the Grand Momentum. For example, at this moment I am in Florida and I face the same pending reward you so elegantly noted. Problem is I have transposed myself across the great expanse and in the process cashed in 3 hours based on my Whidbey Island chronometer.

    While you luxuriously grab for the fleeing tail of Ouribus disappearing into the other end of the circle, I realize that the 8:00 rising has inched slightly closer to sanity as my 6:00 rather than my 5:00 as I redeem my free hour. It still feels like debtors prison as my jets are lagged and stored in the hall closet. Sleep luxuriously, my Princess, use this brief respite before The Order of the High Chancellor of Interval intervenes to restore unconscious regularity.

    I offer 3 hours deposited in the Time Bank due to a temporary distortion in location. I recognize no responsibility for any lost momentum by declaring (publicly I might add) my own position. I just wanted to remind you that you have two more hours to burn should you decide to enroll in my time fame.

    Sweet dreams.


  6. Eileen Soskin
    Eileen Soskin says:

    Scrumptious! It really does feel like a gift – a stolen moment/hour of time. I admit to gritting my teeth when we lose an hour.

  7. Sue Wright
    Sue Wright says:

    Perfect! When I was working and Fall rolled around and Halloween was on the horizon, I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas. My very own special hour to luxuriate and stretch out in my nice warm bed…even if I wasn’t tired.
    The whole day seemed to go slower…or maybe it was just me. Thanks, dear one.

  8. Chris Schacker
    Chris Schacker says:

    Being ‘retired’ – read, unemployed – I usually get up at the former intended time to get ready for work. Then I realize I have no need to get up so early. But, once awake, I get up, make a great cup of coffee, grab the latest book I’m reading, and snuggle in a big, comfy leather chair with my feet propped up on the matching ottoman. Heaven! After reading for a bit I get properly sleepy and return to the comfort of my bed for another snooze. By this time, my dog has stretched his way perpendicularly across the bed including most of “my side”. I sneak back under any covers he may have left for me and do my best not to disturb him. I begin my morning meditations which is just another way of saying I go back to sleep. While I am aware how delicious this routine is, I realize I don’t savor that special hour of daylight savings time the way I used to. It was so special then – when it happened once a year. Now I get to experience it everyday. But it was special and I must remember it as such. And I must be grateful for every day I get to decide to get up on my schedule. Lucky me!

  9. Mike Trenshaw
    Mike Trenshaw says:

    I appreciate any extra sleep time that does not involve pressing a snooze button! One of the many fine qualities I inherited from you!

  10. Roger Harrison
    Roger Harrison says:

    What a delight to read this, Cynthia! The turn of the season will never be the same for me again!

    What good news about your book. Congratulations!

  11. Alison Heins
    Alison Heins says:

    How delightful! It is a magical hour. Unfortunately the cat and the dog know nothing about it, clinging to their habitual rising and feeding times as if nothing had changed! Hens? They rise with the daylight and are already sleeping in…just a bit!

  12. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Isn’t that the truth? What a delicious hour indeed. Although I get up, wrap in a quilt, drink a hot cup of tea, and just….sit there. Nowhere to be, nothing on the calendar, just me and the nightjars buzzing. Sigh.


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