Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time: Facing age with grace and mindfulness
When we are young, we think little about growing old. But time soon catches up with us: the first gray hair, a buckling knee, the purchase of reading glasses, or when a heart attack at the age of 56 rattles your world and reminds you that none of us gets out of here alive.
In this meditative and intimate personal narrative on the act of aging, David W. Berner discovers how to accept and revel in the present, when the days that remain are fewer than those that have passed, and offers a path for celebrating life’s final chapters.
Through the lessons of seasonal change, the natural world, literature, and spirituality, Berner gives us a kind of instruction book on the art of growing older, challenging us to accept aging’s transformative powers. As a keen observer of the world, he forms a guiding philosophy on how to discover joy in the time we have left and nourishment in life’s remaining seasons.
Click on the circles below to see more reviews
Book Review Daylight Saving Time: The Power of Growing Older is an authentic and touching memoir that delves into the complexities of aging, offering profound insights and heartfelt reflections on life's journey. Through the eyes of author David W. Berner, readers are invited to explore the beauty and challenges of growing older and the transformative power of embracing the present moment. As the author delves into his family history and confronts his own mortality after surviving a heart attack, readers are prompted to reflect on their own journey and find inspiration in the pursuit of living life to the fullest. With lyrical prose and powerful storytelling, Berner guides readers on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance, encouraging them to find meaning and purpose in the later stages of life. The narrative not only delves into personal insights but also explores the collective wisdom found in literature, spirituality, and the natural world. It's an intimate guide, a celebration of life already lived, and an invitation to discover joy and fulfillment at any stage of life. A heartfelt journey that inspires true introspection and the significance of growing older and the lessons it brings, Daylight Saving Time: The Power of Growing Older explores the transformative power of living fully in the present moment. —Review by Book Excellence ~ Book Excellence
Daylight Saving Time: The Power of Growing Older by David W. Berner is less of a self-help book and more of a thoughtful retrospective on the author’s life, loves, passions, and reflections on aging, knowledge, and understanding. The author will take you through the highlights and some lowlights of his life as well as offer interesting reflections on growing older; and the effect it has on your mindset and perspective of life, particularly that small part of life’s journey that remains when you reach your sixties. From the lows of a heart attack at the age of just 56, from which he gained a deeper understanding and desire to make his life meaningful, through to the satisfaction and joy of children raised successfully to adulthood, the author offers his unique and insightful view of happiness, fulfillment, and joy as a senior in today’s fast-paced society. Daylight Saving Time is a fascinating read, more so because the author and I are of an age and presumably going through the same retrospective thoughts and analysis. Author David W. Berner writes with a gentle beauty and grace that uses language to convey deep meaning and strong feelings. The experiences described, whilst often everyday occurrences and circumstances, are imbued with an ethereal light from the author's deep thought and obvious command of the written word. I particularly appreciated his use of inflection points in his life that led to significant change or reevaluation. I understood his sudden interest in his antecedents. This is something I too have experienced. His idea of preparing for his and his wife’s demise well in advance, even to the point of writing letters to his sons to be read after his death, was admirable and one that should be contemplated by all of us of a certain age, to save never-ending difficulties for the one left behind. The author’s style flows melodically, much like the passing of the seasons on which the retrospective is based. The language is powerful and rhythmical yet simple and understandable. The author has found the perfect balance between readability and using language that conveys deep feelings and emotions. For this, he is to be congratulated. A book such as this is designed to make the reader think, question, and evaluate and it did do exactly that for me, so I can highly recommend it. ~ Readers' Favorite Review
A candidly told, thought-provoking, important book. Drawing from a lifetime of personal experiences and reflections on the changing seasons, as well as influences from art and literature, Berner creates a moving and contemplative narrative that exposes his innermost self in this thought-provoking book about the inevitability of aging. Youth, Berner states, is a time of blissful ignorance, where thoughts of aging and mortality are distant and easily ignored. But time is a relentless force, etching its mark on our bodies with creases and graying strands of hair. Our once strong frames begin to grow weary and frail, and the words on page become blurry without the aid of reading glasses. Suddenly, we are faced with the reality of growing old—a journey filled with unexpected health challenges and the looming sense of limited time. Berner was 56 when a brush with death in the form of a heart attack forced him to confront the fleeting nature of life and find solace in the present moment. The book chronicles his personal transformation during the time between the start of standard time in November and the return of daylight-saving time in the spring. Berner deftly spins intricate details into his prose, painting a tapestry of the ordinary moments that make up life; the shifting weather, family gatherings, literary events, mundane tasks, and leisurely strolls with his faithful canine companion, inviting readers to join him in his contemplation. Through sharp observations and deep insights, he offers advice on how to navigate the twisting path of aging, appreciate each passing moment, and find fulfillment in the evolving chapters of life. Themes of existentialism and mortality are delicately woven into the narrative, beckoning readers to ponder their own solitudes and legacies, and the fleeting yet eternal nature of time. A remarkable work about a man’s search for joy and purpose in his remaining years on this earth. ~ The Prairies Book Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. The title and subject matter interested me as I am of this same age group and station in life. This narrative seems to be thoughts and musings from journal entries and early morning writing sessions from David's shed while living in Chicago, then Pennsylvania then back to Chicago. His thoughts range from memories of childhood, of his parents, his upbringing, his sons his ex-wife and his current wife. He has observations on the direction of his health, how he spends his time attempting to make each day count and not to while away the time of the days he has left. He is of the mid sixty age group where he faces his gray hair that there is less of it and the aches and pains that increase daily. The tone of this tome is melancholy. He realizes he has lived most of his life already, and his desire is to have the remainder have purpose, Joy, and meaningful encounters with friends, family and his sons. As a parent he questions did he do it right? Impose too much of himself into his sons? He has fears for his health, and his desire is to Live Mindfully. This is a great read and had me pondering the things he was pondering. As one of the same age group I am attracted to simpler activities, less people around and more meaningful ways to spend my time. I found his thoughts interesting and his observations of nature profound as we are in the middle of gray sky winter with hopes of Lighter days and buds of spring and new life just weeks away. Near the end of the book, he wrote about being born into the Light and in Death going towards the light. As Nature and the process of aging has its way with each person and our bodies, mind and soul. One thing we all have in common is we are drawn to and have a deep inner need of being drawn to Light. I would recommend this read, it makes you pause and ponder his musings and I agree the Moka pot coffee is one of Lifes simple pleasures and a delight. ~ Jennifer Connelly (Reviewer) , NetGalley
A candidly told, thought-provoking, important book… Drawing from a lifetime of personal experiences and reflections on the changing seasons, as well as influences from art and literature, Berner creates a moving and contemplative narrative that exposes his innermost self in this thought-provoking book about the inevitability of aging. Youth, Berner states, is a time of blissful ignorance, where thoughts of aging and mortality are distant and easily ignored. But time is a relentless force, etching its mark on our bodies with creases and graying strands of hair. Our once strong frames begin to grow weary and frail, and the words on page become blurry without the aid of reading glasses. Suddenly, we are faced with the reality of growing old—a journey filled with unexpected health challenges and the looming sense of limited time. Berner was 56 when a brush with death in the form of a heart attack forced him to confront the fleeting nature of life and find solace in the present moment. The book chronicles his personal transformation during the time between the start of standard time in November and the return of daylight-saving time in the spring. Berner deftly spins intricate details into his prose, painting a tapestry of the ordinary moments that make up life; the shifting weather, family gatherings, literary events, mundane tasks, and leisurely strolls with his faithful canine companion, inviting readers to join him in his contemplation. Through sharp observations and deep insights, he offers advice on how to navigate the twisting path of aging, appreciate each passing moment, and find fulfillment in the evolving chapters of life. Themes of existentialism and mortality are delicately woven into the narrative, beckoning readers to ponder their own solitudes and legacies, and the fleeting yet eternal nature of time. A remarkable work about a man’s search for joy and purpose in his remaining years on this earth. ~ The Pairies Book Review , Online Review
Daylight Saving Time: The Power of Growing Older is a book about aging that delves into the mechanics of maturity. It joins a host of other publications on this topic, but takes a different approach than many in considering "...the natural rhythms of aging at a time in life when it is impossible to ignore." This reflective process promotes better understanding by adopting a Proust-like attention to the details of pivot points, moments in time, and experiences unique to and representative of the "...season of light, the space between the shifting of time, between Standard Time and Daylight Saving." The metaphor plays out in a series of connections between aging and shifting perspectives and intentions, captured in a succinct and thought-provoking manner by passages that capture life's "little surprises and unforeseen awakenings, frightening experiences, moments of celebration and resignation, sorrow, and delight, mixing like the chemicals of a mad scientist." As these samples represent, Daylight Saving Time is much more than a memoir of experience or the usual sage reflection on the process of aging. It combines both these pursuits with an overlay of philosophical inspection that captures the psyche of the aging soul and its ultimate impact upon and intentions in living: "When we leave this world, we will not know what will be left behind, what secrets will be unwrapped, what truths about ourselves unveiled. We can only hope to be who we are today, in the here and now, as honestly as we can." Many treatises on the aging experience reach only those of older years who take the time to reflect upon their lives and the wisdom of their choices and actions. Younger readers typically eschew such concerns until the point when they, too, are of an age to wonder about their impact on the world around them and the legacy they leave behind. As Daylight Saving Time evolves, so does a sense of place that David W. Berner reaches out to capture and preserve, much as an ancient insect in amber. Time and its memories may be elusive, but it's the moment of experience which is there for the taking. The choice in making it a permanent memory is often mercurial: "Everything gets lost. Where are my keys? I swear I put my wallet right here. The confirmation email for the trip’s accommodations is hiding in the mess of other emails. This is the unassuming forgetfulness that comes with age that you pray will not worsen. Still, you know it will. You’ll lose a cherished photograph, then a memory, and then a friend ... in time, much will be forgotten or at least muted enough to go forever out of focus. Sure, there will be video to remind us, but that’s not a memory. It is only the digital spark that might help us recall what was once real, moments that technology cannot truly recapture. When the last frame fades, the memory will begin its slide back to the dark corners of the mind." Daylight Saving Time comes at a point in the author's life when he is "achy" with his age and reflective of his experiences. In sharing them, and his thoughts about time's passage and his place in the world, he shares not only a singular life, but a connection between youth and old age that charts the shifting sands of both viewpoints. Libraries and readers interested in blends of memoir, philosophical reflection, and life experience presented in a Proust-like manner of "you are here" deliverance will appreciate Daylight Saving Time's candid reflections on life "...at a time when the trail’s end is closer than where it began." ~ Midwest Book Review -- Diane Donovan
David manages to mix the profound with every day experiences and finds beauty in the mundane. This makes reading his work so accessible. I feel like I am having a conversation with a friend. A friend who points to the best in art and literature in a way that seems so relaxed and unpretentious. I also loved the way he holds the theme of time in DayLight Saving Time challenging our preconceived notions. And the distinction he draws between loneliness and solitude is so helpful. The writing about his family at times made me smile and at other times cry and is always heart centered. Like Hemingway David's writing stimulates the mind and the heart. ~ Martin Wells, author of Lost for Words
Daylight Saving Time Which line stood out from all the others in the book? So, with this new hour all mine, I read, drink this good coffee, and write, and before long I walk the busier street back to the house as the world awakens and there are so many places to go. General Summary for Context: A near-death experience is certainly a rude awakening for anyone. What matters, however, is how you deal with the aftermath. Here, the author embarks on a soul-searching journey to determine what it is he hopes to accomplish in the years he has left. Is being a good father enough? Perhaps running and owning a revered bookstore? Whatever dreams he has can be furthered by developing both a philosophical and realistic way of looking at life. Which he does, with grace and stoicism. Concise Review: A remarkable read about one man’s quest for happiness and fulfillment in the years he has left. Finding joy in the minutiae of life—good dark coffee, a quick conversation, a bit of meditation—is a deceptively simple prerequisite for a life well lived. It takes an honest journey such as this one, from a darker state of mind and with unique insight, to truly open our eyes to the importance of these little things. An authentic and moving narrative with fittingly beautiful and powerful writing. General Thoughts on the Novel: I loved reading about the author’s recovery from his illness as well as the ways he strived to empower himself. Appreciation for life is what we are all capable of. It’s a shame so many of us ignore it. Here we have a living example of a man doing just that—every minute of every day. We can and should learn from this man’s story. I know I did. Highly recommended. ~ International Review of Books
A touching, introspective exploration of life as we age. Author David W. Berner offers his account of how he, in the wake of a heart attack, began to view life--a life we often take for granted, with a new and profound perspective. Daylight Saving Time is an exploration of what it means to truly live the beauty of life before it's gone. ~ Ryan Linder, author of The Half-Known Life: What Matters Most When You're Running Out of Time
A very individual take on the passing of time and tryign to live the examined life. In Daylight Saving Time, Berner examines his life and what it has meant. He gives us a very personal take on aging. Time's passing raises a myriad of metaphysical questions along with many personal ones. This author skillfully delves into both. ~ Marc Frazier, author of Each Thing Touches
With his best writing yet, Berner takes cues from the events in his life, the seasons, and the natural world to craftily bundle a layered personal narrative that is deeply woven with nuggets of wisdom and reflection that can only come from the power of growing older. Berner shows not only the meaning of his former years, but also the promise of those sure to come with the arrival of the first day of Spring. ~ Nancy Chadwick, author of Under the Birch Tree: A Memoir of Discovering Connections and Finding Home