We have it all wrong


We try. We all try to wake up bright and bushy tailed at five in the morning—even though it’s pitch outside and there’s no sunshine bleeding through the drapes to wake us naturally. We still wake at the pre-time-change hour, each cursing the lack of daylight, each checking the frosty temperature at that ungodly hour with the coming cold season here in the northern hemisphere.

In the early evening, activity stops and silence abounds, sometimes broken by a remote changing a channel or a laugh from some comedy routine, but for the most part, all is quiet on the northern front, around five pm. We could of course go to bed earlier than our usual routine, then I suppose waking up in the dark we might be fully awake. My own personal experience is no matter what time I try to go to sleep, I invariably wake between three and five.

We humans have it all wrong. We need to hibernate as animals do. That way when the sun does start to wake us again, we are b and b with them!


(Bright-eyed supposedly comes from the late 1500s, while bushy-tailed is said to have hailed from 1865-1870, though no direct source is clear for either of them. They were seen together for the first time in talking about a squirrel, which did, in fact, have bright eyes and bushy tail.)

(The expression ‘pitch dark’ derived. as a reference to things which were. as dark (or black) as pitch (that is, tar). Pitch is the sticky, resinous, black or dark brown substance that is obtained as a residue from the distillation of wood tar or turpentine.)



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