This weekend I was visiting my parents at their home on a lake about two hours northeast of the eastern edge of Toronto. It’s a tranquil, perfect, beautiful spot that, when combined with my parents’ hospitality and the sense of home they have created there (despite it not being the home we grew up in), makes it my favourite place on the planet. The occasion of the visit was the gathering for four generations of the family to celebrate 50 years since four of us–my parents, my older brother, and me–came to Canada from South Africa. The reason for leaving: they didn’t want us growing up with our freedom and opportunities curtailed by the racist system of apartheid that was then South African law.
Between going to bed Saturday night and waking up Sunday morning, the clocks changed, marking the end of Daylight Savings time. To me, on this particular day, it meant one primary thing: I could go running before breakfast on Sunday morning, around 7:15 a.m., and it wouldn’t be dark. Up there, with no street lights on the cottage road, when it’s dark it really is too dark (for me, anyway) to go running.
My running schedule has been all upside down lately because I’ve been struggling with the early morning darkness, and early morning is my best time to go running. But on Sunday there was no such conflict. And I couldn’t wait to get out of bed, throw on my running gear, and head out the door for a solo run on the hilly cottage road that winds its way along the lake and through the woods. I didn’t care that it started to drizzle a bit before I hit the turnaround point of the 5K. In the light of day, it felt energizing and refreshing.
Later that day a debate raged on Sam’s Facebook timeline about which was better — earlier light in the morning or longer light at the end of the day. It was in response to her post of a picture that said “I love setting my clocks back so it gets dark by 4 p.m. said no one ever.” It turns out that quite a few people do think it’s better to have early light than later light. I’m one of them. Sam and Rachel, who are serious cyclists, find their outdoor late afternoon training messed up by the change.
Upshot: I went running Sunday morning before breakfast and it was light. Today I am meeting a friend for coffee at 8 a.m. I can get out for a short run in the morning light before that and have a shower and have my breakfast and pack my lunch and still be on time. Yay!
I plan to enjoy the early morning light for as long as I can. You?