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Get out and enjoy the extra daylight

Before you start reading this, check your clock. Did you remember to “spring forward” one hour last night? Nobody wants to be that person who walks into church service during the benediction.

Today begins Daylight Saving Time, (the word “Saving” properly singular). At exactly 2 a.m., we were all legislatively mandated to give up one hour of our lives in the interest of all that is American; including barbecue, fishing and neighborhood walks.

Spring is certainly in the air. Buttercups are popping up through the pine straw, and the trees are beginning to bud. The morning air is transitioning from frigid to crisp. But few things signal spring to me like an hour of extra daylight.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with originally conceiving Daylight Saving Time, but it wasn’t formally put into law until 1918. The law was repealed the following year, and the practice of observing Daylight Saving Time was on-again, off-again until 1966, when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act.

Since then, the date on which we observe Daylight Saving Time has changed three times – from the last Sunday in April, to the first Sunday in April, to our current date of the second Sunday in March.

Daylight Saving Time is a most curious event. When we start messing with time, we can create some very interesting scenarios. I’d be curious if those individuals working the graveyard shift during this time get paid for the hour they lose?

I read of a story of twins born as Daylight Saving Time ended. The boy was born first during Daylight Saving Time, and his twin sister was born a bit later – as the clocks fell back. Although she entered the world after her brother, the time shift meant that her birth was recorded as taking place an hour earlier, meaning she was officially “older” than her brother.

I’ve always wondered, since speed is a function of time, could a person conceivably challenge a speeding ticket if caught speeding during the time change. (Note to local law enforcement: I’m not planning to test this.)

Reportedly, Daylight Saving Time saves energy consumption and reduces crime rates and traffic accidents, among many other economic and social benefits.

I understand it’s frowned upon by those in the agrarian society. An old friend of mine grew up on a dairy farm and used to say that the change in time made no difference to the cows.

But for most of us, Daylight Savings Time offers a great opportunity to get out and enjoy more of God’s blessings around us. Evening walks, long bike rides, yard work, cookouts and home and car repairs are all given an extra hour to transpire. Consider this loss of an hour an investment in good health and fellowship.

In another article I read, an Illinois newspaper editor once had the bright idea (pun intended) to hold a contest to save daylight during Daylight Saving Time. The rules were simple: Beginning with the first day of Daylight Saving Time, readers of the newspaper were encouraged to save daylight.

Only pure daylight would be allowed – no dawn or twilight light, though light from cloudy days would be allowed. Moonlight was strictly forbidden. Light could be stored in any container. Whoever succeeded in saving the most daylight at the end of Daylight Saving Time would win.

I wish I’d have thought of that.

Rick Reynolds is president/publisher of The Daily Leader. Contact him at rick.reynolds@dailyleader.com.