Living Under Tyranny

All of us are living under tyranny – the tyranny of time. It’s inflexible rule is there every day, but seems more onerous than ever on the day the clocks change.

Clocks are necessary. I refer you to the book “Longitude” by Dava Sobel for why. One example is the fleet of victorious warships returning to port running aground and most of the sailors drowning because they lacked a reliable clock.

And clocks do rule so many people. Those who work must be there on time and can’t leave until the clock releases them. When I retired from teaching, I thought I had escaped living under tyranny as I took off my wrist watch and set it aside.

But time doesn’t live inside a watch.

living under tyranny of goats
Nubian doe High Reaches Pixie’s Agate looks and is sweet, but I better bring her breakfast on time, milk on time, let her out to pasture on time, let her in the barn to fresh hay on time and feed her dinner on time every day.

If you are in agriculture, time rules with an iron hand. You must plant on time, harvest on time or lose your crop. If you have livestock, breeding, weaning, milking and more must be done on time. These are done by the seasons and time of day which is the manifestation of time.

Our time is created by the rotation of the Earth. Part of the time we have day. Part of the time we have night. Because the Earth is tilted, the lengths of these change with the seasons.

And that brings us back to clocks. Someone came up with the idea that moving the clocks up an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall would save energy. So daylight savings time came into being.

Easter Egger chicken
Surely chickens aren’t tyrants. Except they are. They must be let out every morning and locked up every night or the flock will soon disappear as chicken dinner for the local wildlife. Eggs must be gathered everyday or they will spoil or get broken.

It doesn’t work. Instead it creates havoc for those whose days are ruled by the sun. My goats expect me at a certain time in the morning. They don’t read clocks. I must either be out of sync with the clock ruled world or face the battle of changing my goat’s timing.

It’s worse in the fall. Darkness now comes an hour earlier. Chores must begin an hour earlier. I must get done in town an hour earlier.

Living under tyranny when only time is the problem can be adjusted to. One useful thing Congress can do is stop the madness of moving the clocks twice a year.

Dora’s Story was written with a time line and only worked once the timeline was completed.