A return from a trip always reveals new things about home. The imperceptible cadence of life seems to have moved at a fast-forward pace upon our return. This is especially true if one has traveled at the change of a season. Autumn seems to have progressed more quickly when we return to a yard full of leaves and bare trees. Does life move this fast when we watch each leaf fall from a tree?
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Labor Day Weekend evokes long-ago memories. When I was a kid I never cared for holiday (with apologies to my labor-union friends). It was the Back to School jingles on the radio that ruined things. The adult world was clearly taunting me, delighted to see me return to the grindstone. The days were shorter. The new school year was arriving. The summer was gone.
The squash plant in our backyard is a real producer. According to my count, it must grow some thirty squashes during its short season of life. Plump, firm, colorful, and delicious, the vegetables serve to nourish us throughout the summer.
If I had no calendar I’d gauge my seasons by the rising sun. It seems to be better way to do things anyway. Humans are always screwing around with calendars and time and making a mess of them. Twice per year we think we’re very clever to move our clocks back or forth in the interest of “saving” daylight. It’s a ridiculous notion that does nothing but make everyone cranky on the two Sunday mornings after this feeble attempt of sorcery. Calendars and clocks cause a lot of anxiety in this world. We’d all be better off just paying attention to the sun.
One hears it everywhere—the oddly ominous declaration that the holidays are upon us. So much rides on the opening of the season. It is important business for us to be cheerful and generous. It seems that the entire world puts its faith in Americans feeling good about the holidays. The American consumer has replaced Baby Jesus as the icon of Christmas. Like a global manger scene, the media and economists watch over consumer sentiment (spending) as if it were a precious child.
As I write this, winter is, technically, three weeks away from us. I've always felt that the official designation of season is slightly out of sync with how things actually feel. The labels are about a month behind the tangibles. Right now it feels like winter and no meteorologist can tell me otherwise.
The daisies in our front yard reach high for the midsummer sun. A fantasy forest, they come from nowhere and then, one sad autumn day, I realize they are gone. It happens every year.
Tomorrow is a great day for photos. July 4th is a gaudy holiday filled with silly hats, parades, flags, bunting, and an occasional Uncle Sam on stilts. My camera is ready, I just cleaned the sensor with some exotic (meaning expensive) cleaner and the batteries are charging. Today I'm doing business chores that keep things going, the unglamorous underpinnings of life.
It's been a busy month. Often, life creates a big stack of chores and tasks. It's hard to see over the mound to the other side. April is often the month when it hits the hardest. Taxes and accounting and bills and serious people dominate the energy. There are forms and rules and procedures. Even my car registration is due in April. This year I need a smog certificate.
The dailiness of life has this hum to it. Like an old refrigerator on its last leg, it drowns out the nuances of life. Then the fridge finally dies and...quiet. Birds chirp, you can hear the breeze again. Turning off the electricity might be a prescription for sanity.