When I opened my eyes this morning, my first thought was that today was the day I needed to fall back. Fall back, as in daylight savings time. I think the big idea is to save, preserve, or otherwise ensure more daylight by changing the time. So when I woke up at 5am old time, it was really 4am new time. 4am is really too early to get up-even for me. So I laid in bed, eyes wide open, until 5 am, the new time-which would have been 6 am yesterday. In bed at 6 am-the thought horrifies me. How will I ever be ready to face the day with so little time? I fed the dogs at 6am-they were fussing, as they usually have breakfast by 7am. I left for work shortly after the new 7am, which was now shortly after the old 6am. It was indeed very dark.
Angie was scheduled to come in today-we have a lot of work to do before our holiday open house this coming Thursday. The old 9am is now 10am-it felt like she got to work in the middle of the day. By 4pm the new time, the dogs were overdue for their 3pm afternoon dinner. They both came to my desk, staring and glaring as if I had violated their routine. It is very hard to explain daylight savings time to a pair of corgis. By the 4pm Sunday close of the shop, which would have been 5pm yesterday, I was tired.
If you are having trouble following this train of thought, you have company. The one hour change in the time will dog me for several weeks, before I adjust. Don’t hold me to anything I have said in the past few paragraphs. I have a hard time adjusting to even a small change of pace when I am busy.
Why would I make such a fuss about this? The beginning of our gardening season is not solely about temperature. Day length is a trigger for many plants. Growers schedule their work around that biologically driven clock. A biological clock? A biological clock is set to record metabolic changes, sleep cycles, or photosynthesis. The aforementioned-from the dictionary. I have an internal clock set in tandem with the time. When the time changes arbitrarily, I am thrown off course. The loss of that hour in the fall-an adjustment that is a rude imposition.
Rob travels all over the globe to shop for Detroit Garden Works. He does not buy on line. He shops in person. Whether it is Los Angeles, or London, or Impruneta, Italy, or Brazil or Belgium, he routinely flies back and forth across multiple time zones. He spares me the gory details of the personal cost of giving a few hours up here, and the consequences of adding a few hours there. He manages to make the travel look manageable. I know better. Traveling across multiple time zones takes courage and time to resolve. He is unwilling to give in to the disruption of his internal clock.
Today I have abandoned the fall, and anticipate the the beginning of winter. By this I mean the coming of the dark time. The winter season in Michigan is notable for its gray days, its early nights and its late mornings. I have a few weeks ahead of waking up at 4am instead of 5am. I will be tired at 5pm, as my biological clock will insist it is 6pm. What a shocking difference an hour makes. The little details-they matter much.
This coming Thursday night is the opening of our winter/holiday open house weekend. This is the only evening event we host all year. The following Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will have lots of guests start to finish. We serve treats and coffee. I love that lots of clients bring their kids-they are the gardeners of the future. Gardeners for the future-I support this. What began 10 years ago as a modest campaign to get Michigan gardeners to fill their containers for the winter season , rather than leaving them empty and forlorn for our winter six months in length, has grown. Our winter season is every bit as big as our spring season. What I love the best-the camaraderie generated by the coming of the cold, the waning of the garden, and the prospect of the holidays. This is the most good natured season of the gardening year. Everyone knows the stakes are high, and the winter time will be tough and long. All of us gardeners share that.
We have scheduled our open house a week early this year, as Thanksgiving falls as late as it can possibly be. There are boxes everywhere-waiting for someone to unpack them. We have gardens to clean up, the terra cotta at the shop to put into storage, and company coming in 3 days. The 20 of us will do the best we can to bring a good end to the garden, and be ready to embrace the coming season. Exciting times, yes. As for daylight savings time-we are chasing the clock. Gardening-the best venue for drama that I can imagine.