Spring Forward

It’s nice that Spring Forward is here, and the clocks go forward an hour this weekend. But I do have mixed feelings. And not the routine ones that everybody has. I have Spring Forward melancholy. Here’s why.

In the winter I enjoy my sunrises. I think nothing of getting up before 5am to drive to some place that I know will have an amazing dawn over a landscape fresh with the promise of a new day. It inspires me. Gives me hope. Helps me through the most miserable of grey and overcast winters. The solitude of being the only person on the road at such an early hour feels like I am the last man on earth.

Animals abound. Bird. Deer. Coyote. An endless abundance of critters. At this time of day creatures move freely, going about their lives unafraid of the vast, still-sleeping hordes of humanity. And then…

… and then the clocks spring forward. An extra hour in bed! Yippee! Or not.

The sun rises at the same ‘time’. That hasn’t moved. What used to be ‘rise at 5 for the 6am dawn’ becomes ‘rise at 6 for the 7am dawn’. So what? So, someone forgot to tell the animals.

The Winter (time) shift is over. As the Spring shift begins the human world starts turning. I’m not the only one on the road. Queues at the drive-thru. School buses. Commuters. I have to share the world.

And so do the animals. They quickly adapt to new routines just to survive. Until they do, roadkill goes through the roof. Not something to look forward to, particularly among squirrel populations. Birds, deer, coyote. A week after Spring Forward the animals have all but disappeared, rarely to be seen. Until the world turns and the clocks Fall Back, and they emerge timidly once more into the pre-dawn light of Winter.

In many ways, the world is less alive when Spring arrives. An odd but true observation, from one that has spent more time than most out there watching it. Spring fills the world with humans rushing from one concrete box to another, hardly sparing a thought for the harsh yet beautiful nature around them.

So, yes. I have mixed feelings about clocks going forward.

I will miss the peace and solitude of a winter sunrise. I will miss communing with my friends. Sitting quietly in the car watching families of deer cross the road at a leisurely walk, paces in front of me. Mice popping up through the snow while owls swoop to try to catch them in nature’s version of whack-a-mole. Huge fields of geese exploding into flight as one. I will miss the complete absence of traffic noise. The silence.

Instead of spending that extra hour of darkness laying in bed awake staring at the ceiling, I’m going to get up at what my body and the critters still think is 5am. I’m going to spend that one, last, extra hour with my friends, before the human world starts to turn. Before they fade into the bushes again until Winter.

The cycle continues. Another year dawns. Off we go.

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