Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Labour Day Weekend

It tickles me year after year - no matter my advancing age, no matter that I am retired, no matter that I don't live with anyone who is returning to school or university - that I continue to get fired up by Labour Day Weekend.  What particularly comes to mind is not what I perceive to be the international tradition of going back to school but what was in my personal vernacular the ritual holiday to Cape Cod.  I normally lingered there for at least a week - not just the long weekend - because the local guest houses were able to insist at that time of year upon a minimum stay of seven days.  In the early years of my law practice the Labour Day Weekend was the paramount annual holiday, sudden relief from months of pressing real estate activity.  I very distinctly recall my first arrival on the Cape - a calculated detour to the red wooden package store for a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Scotch Whiskey which I then considered the height of sophistication.

The alcoholic persuasion has since evaporated. Our ambition has switched to a longer sojourn on Longboat Key by the Gulf of Mexico. But the charm and energy of Labour Day Weekend persists.  As I sat in the car this morning waiting for my partner to complete a bit of grocery shopping, I imagined what chaos will ensue by Thursday as individuals and families prepare to gather provisions for their weekend celebrations. The September convention easily competes with other holiday weekends. It no doubt helps that the weather forecast is hot and steamy. One likes to predict that people will have the advantage of sunshine as they round out the summer.

When dining with friends at Pelican Seafood Market & Grill this past weekend we remarked mournfully upon the accelerating darkness of the late afternoon. The piercing whir of the cicadas has given way to the strident shrill of the blue jays. The verdant corn fields are crowned by harvest-coloured tassels.

There is an inescapable catharsis to Labour Day Weekend.  In our case it marks not only the release of strong emotions but the conclusion of what has been a succession of medical attendances (our own and those of family). Though much of what we have done during the past summer has been punctuated by application and purpose, the Labour Day Weekend nonetheless heralds a return to diligence and estimable industry.  The autumn duties and summer performances are not fungible.  After Labour Day Weekend things become considerably more formal and intense, characterized by results rather than objectives.

Labour Day Weekend conveniently affords an opportunity to reflect and to plan.  It is an event as undeniable as the change of seasons. It beckons new adventures and possibilities. Sweaters will begin to reappear.  There may even be talk of lighting a fire. The sultry summer air will be replaced by a dry, cool atmosphere.  But until then Labour Day Weekend is a signal chance to trumpet the advantage of summer!

1 comment:

  1. Bill,

    Wonderful musings on the holiday. It is always an anticipatory holiday for Rocci and me because we head for the Cape for 2 weeks the first Saturday after Labor Day. The weather is always wonderful and it is joyous to have dear friends visit while we hold court there! My favorite thing over the past few years is the Afterglow Festival of amazing cabaret acts curated by a wonderful husband and wife team. It lasts for a week with up to 3 different acts a day.
    Still, the air, ocean and beaches remain the main event and they always call us with their siren song!