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Bonus Hour Day

My personal holiday is Sunday. Considering all the wealth of the world, there is no more fabulous, subtle and welcome gift than the free hour we all get back one day a year.

As a kid I remember the time changes as an incomprehensible nuisance. That one spring Monday was especially painful, stumbling out to the bus with everyone else, all of us as dazed as bombardment survivors. Why are they screwing with the clocks? I remember one extraordinarily loud and uncouth blond girl shouting at the driver. The driver sagged into her wheel with fatigue and disgust at youth.

By high school I recognized the fall hour as real time that could be used. The day was longer, more vibrant, stretched. At last you could hear the spaces between the minutes, or time had changed enough from childhood’s eternal present that I was conscious of it always floating away. Back then the change was in October and the fall light was brilliant with some of summer’s gentle angle. I could walk through leaf piles with the dog or call a friend and still have time to do homework. Night drifted in like a sailboat in the gentlest breeze.

From college onward it’s felt needed, sometimes desperately. I have finished term papers or just gone for a longer walk, depending on the year. The extra space echoes somehow. It feels borrowed in more than a simple calendar shuffle.

Now the day is precious because even a little more time is much more. It can be seized or wasted as desired, at least this once. You can’t save time like you can money, however efficient that would be. Might as well spend it on walks, or coffee, or donuts–all things better in the fall.

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