For those of you laboring under the illusion that this is a day of rest, think again. Right now the toll punchers are in their booths, the conductors are running trains, lawns are being mowed, dishes are being washed, bus drivers are navigating passengers, pilots are taking off, police are giving out tickets and babies are being born. There is never really ‘rest’ in this world until we are out of it.
Besides, I take things literally. Always have. I vividly recall being served “boysenberry” pie by my Great Grandmother when I was 5. ‘Wow,’ I thought to myself. “How did they get little boys in these berries?” I spent the next half an hour trying to dissect the teeny, tiny berries between the crusts of my pie. In the process, a great deal of the dark, gooey mess ended up on Granny’s white, starched tablecloth. “What on earth are you doing!” she scolded. “I’m looking for the boys, Granny, but so far I can’t find ANY at all!”
Thus, every ‘Labor’ Day, I feel I must labor. This will be the weekend the plants will be re-potted, the attic cleared out and the outside of the cupboards cleaned. While I know it is a day of ‘rest’ around the world, the word itself will not let me do so. In fact, since I first gave birth, “labor day” has had another connotation altogether.
Crazy, right? Well, maybe not. Words are tricky things. They sway us this way and that, so subtly we can be duped. They act as our bridge between one another. But we really only ‘connect’ if we ‘hear’ the words the same way. People who are “all ears” would be good at that. The first time someone said this expression to me, I looked for their ‘extra’ ones. Literally.
Look. All holidays are temporary illusions. They lull us into thinking their 24 hours are special or different but they’re not. The important thing is to keep one foot in front of the other. Be grateful for those who NEVER stop working because if they did? Life as we know it would not be life. Right now I’m taking out the rug shampooer…..no time like the present….It’s ‘Labor’ Day.
P. S. I can hear the waste collectors emptying the cans out back. Yup, on Labor Day.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us Helen! And your joy. xx, Peter Alsop