Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring night

I hate Daylight Savings with a passion that is...let's face it...weird.

Once I read that during the first week of each time change, pedestrian death increases by 20%. Because drivers who are used to driving in daylight can adjust to gradual changes in light (a little darker each day), but not a sudden change (from light to DARK!).

Now I tell people this fact twice a year. I do not have a citation for this fact. I do not know where or how or who conducted the research on this topic. I do not even know that it is true.

But it is something on which to fixate, something tangible, logical, and reasonable, to back up my hatred of Daylight Savings. It is all that I have.

It is all that I had on Monday, a day in which I was so tired that if I stood up too quickly, I felt dizzy, like someone with a hangover might. I was so tired it hurt; my skin felt like a pair of jeans put on too tight. I had gone to bed an hour too late, and then slept horribly, plagued by nightmares about school and dreams about things going wrong at work. Then it got weird. Starting at 4am, my subconscious tormented me with several different scenarios in which I was being attacked by spiders. At least one incident took place in Portland, and one took place in the yard of the place where I grew up, in the exact space in the garden where I remember (or imagine I remember) discovering a fern for the first time and, at the age of eight, declaring I wanted to grow up to be a botanist.

This continued until I got up in a dark room, looking at a dark window where last week there had been light, looking at rain and gloom where last week there had been sun.

I spent most of the day being quiet or being weird, the latter comprising of explaining away my crankiness as a night of spidery stress dreams and then pedantically reciting that "fact" about the 20% increase in pedestrian death during Daylight Savings week.

After class, I rode the MAX home in a bit of a daze, having another mass transit adventure about which I will tell you later, and after arriving home, I collapsed in bed and fell asleep before a potato was finished baking.

But what I really meant to tell you about today was the first spring night I got to enjoy. I'm not too disappointed about the late twilight. I got to go for a walk after getting home from work and I worked late. The past several months I have been used to a forced choice--one or the other--work late OR get to take a walk. I walked about two miles through such delights as clouds of daphne perfume, past paths of huddled hellebores, under a butter-colored Corylopsis canopy, and I even saw my first hummingbird of the year, dancing around the yellow clusters of the Oregon state flower, Mahonia.

Then I went out on the roof garden, still in my office clothes, to clean up some of fall's leftover clutter of spent stems and brown leaves and to curtail the spread of a new year's weeds. I intended to wait for my gardening companion to plant some of our vegetable starts together, but the new arrivals looked crowded and neglected in their plastic pots, so I found myself pulling apart clumps of very cold black soil, separating the tightly-packed seedlings and planting the peas, fennel, and rainbow chard whose eventual location we'd discussed and agreed upon.

The sunset was slow, like a viscous liquid the color of a campfire sliding down the sky toward the blackness of the West Hills like honey sliding from the edge of a cup of tea onto the table--it was in no hurry. From the time I started my walk to the time I finished working on the rooftop garden, I was under its glow, an orange interrupted only by the tiny blinking of the two lights on top of the distant Fremont Bridge.


THE ELENA said...

I feel like DS has been especially rough this year. I don't remember having this much trouble in the past. PLUS, now at the hour that I want to go to bed, it's still light out with children playing. dammit.

Hippy Chick said...

What a gorgeous post, thank you! I love the way you describe the slow sunset. I can see it!

Yes, I hate Daylight Savings, too. I have felt off all week and even though I CAN sleep in, I don't like the feeling that I HAVE to sleep in just to feel normal. It's a weird time, yes.