In many parts of the world at this time of year, clocks are changing to reflect the changing season and the changing light. To attend to the different clocks and watches, radios and timers in my home manually is one of many rituals that have become established in the rhythm of my life, and it gives me pleasure, when it is done, to know that I am ready for the cycle to come.
As I write, the “fall backwards” tonight for me is a welcoming of the Moon energy after the brilliance of the season of the Sun, of the mysticism of long dark nights and the cosiness of wood fires and rich, black, starlit heavens, a time when reflection is encouraged and we can look forward to pagan festivals that have been celebrated in these coming months for thousands of years. It is a time of community, of storytelling and of remembering, and of thankfulness for all that is good in our lives.
As I made my plans for the clock reset later, thinking about what devices would change automatically and what would need to be done by me in the usual way, I was jolted to realise that for many people now, nothing will need to be done about the new time because all their (Apple) watches, phones, clocks, cars, and appliance programmers will be changed precisely and simultaneously through central computer control. It is liberating in many ways and makes life easier, but doing nothing to mark the change may detract from its significance and cause something potentially important to go un-noticed. New cycles want to be honoured, particularly now as we enter a dramatic new era.
You may think me fanciful as I talk about an international tradition which began only in 1908 in Canada initially as a measure to conserve energy and light: if daylight savings were ended one day, as it might be, there would be other ways of marking the time of transition if we so wanted. The jolt I mentioned came from the reminder of how dependent we are in so many ways on the blessing and the tyranny of technology which controls our lives even down to what time we are told it is, unless we have simple alternative devices and appliances that we can use instead.
At a time when we see physical threats to our infrastructure on land, below the seas and in the skies from unfriendly agents, it good to remember that cyber-attacks can occur not just on data and websites but also on the computers that manage so much of our lives including food and water supplies; communication; the control of our cars and our energy usage; our privacy and even our time.
Technology is wonderful but imperfect particularly when it can be manipulated to cause harm. It is good when it does not rule our lives, for then, where is our responsibility? If we have lost responsibility, what is the point of being human? Do we want to be dependent on what we cannot see or touch or know?
Dependency means ceding the light, and at this time of the change of light and time, it would serve us to remember that we have a choice. It does not have to be this way.