Every year about this time, we change the time from daylights savings time to standard time. We "fall back" and supposedly get an extra hour's sleep on the Saturday night/Sunday morning time change day. The change often happens on the last Saturday night/Sunday morning in October, but this year we extended it another week. Other years we have changed it as well, although there was one year when we didn't change it back to standard time at all, during the Jimmy Carter presidency.
Despite the extra hour, many of us find that it takes several days or more to adjust to the time change. We end up getting really sleepy at 9:00 p.m. and then waking up at 5:45 a.m. Or thereabouts. And then we complain about it getting dark at 5:30 p.m. and even earlier in the Northeast where there seems to be precious little enough sunshine in the fall and winter anyway.
Whyever it is that we do this (and I confess I no longer even think about or care why - just give me the date when the time changes and I will dutifully reset my clocks), be it to save energy or not have children waiting for the schoolbus in the dark or whatever it is, there is still this golden time of day just before sunset that is my favorite time of the day, all year long.
That golden hour is most perfectly seen at the beach, of course, since everything is better at the beach. This is the absolute best time to take photographs - everyone and everything is bathed in a golden glow, a little fuzzy around the edges. The sand has cooled, the wind has picked up ever so gently, the birds are out feeding, the crowds are gone, the water has turned to a deep blue no matter what color it was earlier in the day. The sun's going down and the sky is several shades of blue and pink with maybe a little white or gold trimming. The shadows are long and getting longer.
I like to think of that golden hour as what the sabbath was meant to be like. Day's over, time to slow down, cool off, take a casual walk or sit on the deck watching the sunset, watching the birds feed, feeling the gentle breeze; everything looks even more beautiful than it did in the harsh light of mid-day. Time to kick back and take it all in.
Unfortunately, in the city, such kicking back at sunset is probably not happening much. We're in the traffic, which is not even the opposite of the sabbath (since that would be creating, I guess) - just stuck and aggravated and if the sun is going down, it's sure to be in one's eyes no matter in which direction we seem to be going. Or we're still in the office at the desk or otherwise working.
And so the time change in the city is just another thing to put on the calendar, another thing to be dealt with. It doesn't seem to have much of anything to do with our time unless we set out to notice it.
Because it's still beautiful, especially this time of year when the leaves are red and gold and the sky is blue with wispy white accents and the temperatures, no matter how warm they were during the way, are falling a bit. Driving down my street this afternoon, I saw how the golden rays filtered through the gold-leaved maple trees along the sidewalks and watched the squirrels criss-cross the road below and saw the jet vapor trails criss-crossing the sky above.
Go out and see!