Spring break is on the horizon

Published 3:15 pm Friday, March 11, 2022

Spring is on the horizon.  How do I know this?  Well, here comes daylight saving time, a sure sign of spring.  Then, there’s also Spring Break!  

We seem to have been through the rollercoaster of seasons provided by Mother Nature.  You know, Mississippi seasons consist of winter, fool’s spring, second winter, spring of deception, third winter, the pollening and then actual spring.  We are here now.  Well, maybe after the suggestion that snow might be in our weekend forecast!

Spring is a time of transformation. It’s a time when we clean out to begin anew. This rejuvenation is both literal and symbolic. Not only does it apply to our closets and general household but in a larger sense, we should view this as an opportunity to hit the reset button in other areas of our life. Perhaps our New Year resolutions have fallen by the wayside. But our resolve to change is rekindled by the promise of spring, this change of season that is so inspiring. Yes, we can clean the windows, wash and wax the car and organize, but we also need to cast aside the winter doldrums and clear out our mental clutter, too. This “spring cleaning” is very liberating. We can more easily discard not only “things” but find ways to prioritize and simplify our lives.

Back to daylight saving time.  I read recently that daylight saving time is one thing that Ben Franklin did NOT invent.  However, he did write a satirical essay in the spring of 1784.  He was living in Paris at the time and proposed that “Rising with the sun would save the citizens of Paris a great deal of money.”  He said the city of Paris might save every year by using sunshine instead of candles.  Clever observation, Mr. Franklin.  

So, who did first propose daylight saving time? We can place the blame on a New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, who wanted more daylight leisure time in the evenings to collect insects and presented the idea in 1895. Daylight saving time was first enacted by the federal government March 19, 1918, during World War I, as a way to conserve coal. But daylight saving time didn’t become a federal law until 1966, with passage of the Uniform Time Act. It established daylight saving time from the last Sunday of April through the last Sunday of October.  Two states, Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time.  

According to the Associated Press Stylebook, the correct term is daylight “saving” (not savings) time.  It’s also supposed to be lowercase, not uppercase.  

The time change can be a difficult adjustment.  Think how your pets react to the change in their feeding times.  Also, children have to make the adjustment for school and activities.  Morning commutes “look” different.  

I begin early in the afternoon setting the clocks ahead.  Remember “spring” forward.  I have tried through the years to replace my clocks with “atomic” clocks that automatically re-set themselves for daylight saving time.  I systematically go through my house and without fail, there will be at least one clock that I overlook. 

May you all enjoy Spring Break and have sunshine and lots of fun to welcome this season of renewal!

 

Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for The Oxford Eagle. Contact her at bbrown@olemiss.edu