Clocks Take a Step Back, So Take a Step Forward

It’s my favourite day of the year.  I go to bed with a feeling of hopeful anticipation, after setting all the clocks in the flat back by an hour.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m going to wake up to a new year, bursting with new possibilities.

I hate it when the clocks go forward in the spring.  That one hour when I need to wake up earlier makes makes me jet-lagged – something that flights to and from the US and China have never done – for a couple of weeks.  My body feels robbed of something.

In Italian, British Summer Time is called ora legale.  The legal time, by the laws you had nothing to do with setting up.  Human laws.  When the clocks go back, however, they revert to the ora solare – the sun time, as decreed by the Sun god.

In England, we revert to Greenwich Meantime, the meridian from which all other meridians take their lead.  Again, it feels like the last Sunday in October is when the more truthful and correct way of marking time resumes.  Just like autumn feels like the touchstone come to test the seriousness of our intent for the cold months to come.  The rest of the year, it’s just fluff.  An illusion.

The last Sunday of October, ahead of Hallowe’en, magic takes place.  A gift.  A small miracle.  We receive the gift of an extra hour’s sleep – and yet still wake up early enough.  A gift of an extra hour to do at least one thing we have not had the time to do over the past few months.  There is something redemptive about this magical extra hour.  It’s like a second chance, a chance for a new start.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day working.  Then, in the afternoon, I remembered I had that extra hour stashed away.  I used it on repotting a basil plant I bought from the supermarket a few weeks ago, and which has unexpectedly grown beyond all expectations.  As I pushed the fresh soil around the roots of the plant, I sipped hot water with lemon juice, ginger and honey.  When I’d finished, I took another pot and filled it with soil.  Then I collected five pips from the lemon I’d just squeezed, arranged them in a star shape on the surface, and pushed them deeper into the dark soil.  I sprinkled water, and placed the pot on the sun-flooded kitchen windowsill.  “Grow,” I whispered.

A new year, a new chance.  God willing, a new lemon tree.

Scribe Doll


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23 Responses to Clocks Take a Step Back, So Take a Step Forward

  1. Pingback: Twenty-Five-Hour Day | Scribe Doll

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  3. Pingback: Clocks Take a Step Back, So Take a Step Forward | The Backpack Press

  4. I love the extra hour…look forward to it every year. It’s as though something that’s been removed is being returned. By the way, my grandmother used to drink hot lemonade with honey, every morning with breakfast. She claimed it was her secret to a long life. Here’s to lemon trees and the bees that give us honey to sweeten their fruit. Wonderful post!

    • scribedoll says:

      Thank you! For years, I used to wake up with an unpleasant taste in my mouth, and it stopped as soon as I mug of warm water and half a squeezed lemon as soon as I got up in the morning.

      We have a bee crisis in Europe. Many bees are dying. Probably pesticides. I can’t remember which Ancient Greek philosopher said that bees were the key to keeping the world alive…

  5. Thanks, I’ll take a step forward. The extra hour is a present, indeed ☼
    Re: lemons, I use them every day and it never occured to me to try for a tree, thinking it not hot enough in the UK. You inspired me to give it a go indoors.

  6. anna says:

    This year in Russia we have set our clocks one hour back – and from now on we ARE NOT GOING to set them forward in spring, never ever)). At least as long as Putin is in power)))). For several years we have lived by summer time without setting clocks back in winter – that was the decision made by his buddy Medvedev (when the latter was president). Now everything has changed. To tell the truth, I’m glad that it is so. I did not like it living by the summer time all the year round. Now there will be only one hour difference between Russia and Europe in the summer. More than that, we will not have to head for work in the dark in the morning and head back home from work in the same dark in the evening. Common sense has triumphed in the end. Except all other dreadful things that are taking place in my country nowadays (((((.

  7. Welcome back….some of us missed yerself:-)

  8. evanatiello says:

    That’s my favorite winter drink too! Do you think you will grow a lemon tree? Have you had luck with this before? It seems you did something else with your extra hour, lucky us. Xo

    • scribedoll says:

      I managed to grow 2 ft lemon plants from seeds, a couple of years ago but then, with all my house moves, I had to give them away.
      Thank you for your lovely comment, Eva.

  9. I had no idea any other country (except maybe Canada) went through this idiotic, outdated ritual. I hate the time change. I wish we would stay on standard time year ’round. A few years ago, the US decided we would change back a week later and go forward a week earlier. We still have one more week to go. I’m jealous.

  10. Ah, yes, that lovely extra hour when “Daylight Savings Time” ends and we revert to “Eastern Standard Time” here in the eastern United States (though they’ve changed it in recent years on both ends to make Daylight Savings Time longer, and so we don’t go through the change until November 2 now, next Sunday.). I truly love the way that you, a highly civilized and cultured person, as your posts show, still make time for the wonderful times and creatures of nature. Good luck with the lemon tree–I seem to remember you growing one before!

    • scribedoll says:

      Hey, I’m not that cultured and civilised! I wish…
      Yes, I grew lemon plants before but with my string of house moves, I had to give them away. I hope I can see this one grow to an actual tree.
      Thank you for commenting :–)

  11. Sue Cumisky says:

    Hooray like the extra hour, you are back! Thank you.

  12. Liz Stanford says:

    My favourite time of the year also! I love the idea that we get that extra precious hour and feel that same anticipation. The whole day is filled with possibilities!

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