“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
– Walt Whitman (1819-92)

Ladies and gentlemen, those must, indeed, be wise words to live by because the late Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf for the majority of her life, similarly said, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”

We should always look at the bright side of life. We should strive to be optimistic and positive. Sunshine helps with this endeavor.

Just think about it. Don’t you feel better on a warm, bright sunny day than you do when it’s cold and rainy? Would you rather watch the uptown parade on a glorious afternoon or during a driving thunderstorm?

It’s way more fun to grill when the sun’s out, wouldn’t you agree?

Sadly, Mother Nature is slowly but surely stealing away our sunlight and has been for quite some time – since June 21 to be precise.

Yep, we’ve been losing daylight for more than four months, and the trend won’t stop until just before Christmas. When we reach the December solstice, sunrise will be just before 8 a.m., and the sun will go down not long after 5 p.m. (a stark contrast from the June solstice when the sun woke up just after 6 a.m. and sank into the western sky after 9 p.m.).

To make matters worse, when the no-good thievery finally ends, not only will a bunch of our sunlight be gone, Mother Nature will have turned the heater way down, too. Speaking of thievery, don’t look now, but daylight saving time (which is often erroneously referred to as daylight savings
time) will be coming to an end – not this weekend, but next weekend, on Sunday, Nov. 5.

We “sprung forward” on March 12, and alas, it’s getting close to the time where we “fall back.”

Today, the sun rose at 7:54 a.m. here in Highland County and will set at 6:42 p.m. Next Sunday, those times change to 7:07 a.m. and 5:28 p.m.

Ben Franklin is credited (or blamed, depending on your point of view) for coming up with the idea of daylight saving time as a means to conserve energy. This year, we celebrate (or lament) the 10-year anniversary of implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which expanded the length
of daylight saving time. There are folks who kvetch about springing forward and others (like me) who grumble about falling back. But must we spring forward or fall back at all?

A “permanent daylight saving time” has been put in place in some places such as Turkey, Chile, Iceland, Argentina, Belarus and Uzbekistan.

Here’s an idea. We have daylight saving time most of the year, then spring forward when we used to fall back. Just picture it. Instead of it getting dark sometime after 5 p.m., the sun sets at 7:28 p.m. on Nov. 5. Beautiful!

I know, I know, the poor kiddos will be waiting for the bus in the dark. But a lot of folks out there complain that youngsters these days are too soft, they have it too easy.

Remember, we had to walk five miles to school each and every day in the snow – uphill both ways. If you went to Hillsboro City Schools “back in the day” like I did, school was so awful they tore down all of our schools – first Washington, then the high school, then Marshall (except the gym) and finally Webster.

Just consider the young tots in Helsinki, Finland. Come December, the sun comes up close to 9:30 a.m. and sets just after 3 p.m.

Heck, these kids go to school in the dark and come home in the dark … and they survive somehow.

Springing forward when we used to fall back can help make America great again. We can wear our shades, keep our faces to the sunshine and look at the bright side of life while flipping burgers in the evening.

Steve Roush is a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at roush_steve@msn.com.