It’s that time of year again when we all dutifully comply with our government and set our clocks forward in order to serve some sort of purpose. I’ve heard it’s because farm kids had to wait in the dark for school buses and who could possibly be against children, but that doesn’t make any sense because our oldest son used to wait in the morning light for the bus but now it is dark when he heads out in the predawn air.

I have also heard it serves some other purpose built around “productivity” but I still don’t get that one either because you are either productive or you aren’t, a clock doesn’t seem to modify that kind of innate behavior a whit, in fact clock watchers tend to be the most non-productive folks around, at least in my experience. I work until the work is done, light or dark, rain or shine and I haven’t worn a watch since the day we moved up here. But we comply with the semi annual clock reset that eludes logic in order to stay in synch with the rest of the American population in our time zone. And we change our smoke alarm batteries too, just like they say we should because we don’t want to be trouble makers.

The snow is almost gone now, the sap has ceased to flow and the buckets come down today slamming the lid on the sugar season and all these things have happened on their own, without official decree or notification. It was great, if a bit short and the syrup we produced was exceptionally flavorful as well as aesthetically pleasing. We had old friends drive up from Connecticut for the weekend and before my Father returned home we built a bonfire to celebrate the Equinox. It was nice to stand in the warmth of the blaze and watch the sparks shoot skyward into the starry sky, our bodies weary from work, our bellies full of homemade cabbage slaw and roast chicken. I tried to imagine what it must have been like when real celebrations centered around the changing seasons took place on farmsteads, where people understood innately the connection between each passing phase of the moon as dormancy morphed into regeneration, but it simply wasn’t possible. I was a child in the 1960′s when television and automobiles and clocks that changed back and forth across the seasons according to political dictate were the greater law, not Nature and Her phases.

I am a stranger to that world yet, but I’m learning.

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