Memory flooded my mind these weeks. Perhaps leisure during Labor Day Weekend allows that for some of us. This holiday, a century old acknowledgment for those who labor around us, building and mending our structures and infrastructures, three days that neatly divide summer from fall, freedom days from the job-filled days, a weekend when 35 million people hit the road or take to the skies for one last fling, or in the case of many travelers, bring their college students to their respective college; regardless, that long weekend filled me with images. It wasn’t all that long ago that I too drove the highways for that task, and although I would say I eventually got better at those goodbyes, I am reminded of a first one, many years ago, made easier by the wisdom of my mother.
Mothers and their daughters. I do suppose one might say, fathers and sons, but for me, as a daughter and a mother, these two relationships have loomed large. If fact the complexity is still unfolding for me, the relationship I had with my mother, the one I still forge with my daughter. Some of my mother’s finest gifts took years to appreciate. Remembering a Labor Day weekend, years ago, me with a SUV packed full with my daughter and her ‘bare essentials’ as a Freshman entering college, and my mother waiting for us in a five star hotel, is certainly one of those gifts.
It was the early 1970’s. We were all angry. About the war and the draft, about gender inequity that stalled every woman’s career, about the gas lines due to the oil crisis in the middle east, about the crippling inflation, about having to wear ties or even bras. We grew our hair long, listened to album length tracks, questioned those in authority, forced a resignation from a corrupt President, and sat out in student strikes all across this great nation. Resistance happened from family’s living room to the illustrious Senate floor. My own father, who worked his way up from the floor boards of poverty faced a mob every night at dinner with his young adults who questioned his authority, his decisions, his motives, even his tomorrow. Thankfully for us under his care he came to value our resistance. Not easily. It meant he had to listen. Temper his own self. See the big picture. He too questioned. Sought truth. He read the newspapers, listened to other’s opinions, remembered history, and understood the value of debate. Where is that America? Where is the freedom of speech we wave about when we think it will benefit us? Anger we have, but let the voices ring.
Hopefully, everyone is reducing, reusing, and recycling. I’m on board, but not just with my cardboard. I’m all about keeping my clothing, season after season, opting not to buy into each new trend that surfaces. When I look back through my photo stream, I’ve noticed I’m often wearing the same dress, from Venice, Italy, to Venice, California, for over a decade. So I ask you, why hop on the shopping train, why not instead, keep your garments wearing longer? This year, as floral once again flooded the racks, I included an old floral favorite, worn first on a Kentucky waterfront a decade ago, then on a spring night two years ago, and resurfaced this year during my trip to France. Packable, light, and totally worth rewearing. Before you purchase a new wardrobe this Fall, consider how you might reduce your footprint, by reusing, at the very least, much of what you already own, or shopping at vintage or recycle shops. Let’s think through this global issue of waste.
Still a summer sky, a true blue blue overhead but my days now start with an alarm ringing and me dragging toward that brief yoga mat and then work work work although the afternoons are still that sky and that sunshine and I melt back to July when I called all the shots from dawn to dusk.
Now sneakers on by four and out the door across the field and around the bend to nothing but corn growing toward the horizon and me feeling free and light. Can you beat that?
I’d say I’m one of the lucky ones. I promise to start thinking about blogging again, writing again, scheduling time for that, soon… Until then, happy late August days, for now, go run it, xxoo
#tbt to when we were flying along RT 70 West passing miles of cornfields in Kansas and careening around and over and through the Colorado Rockies and then sweeping across the magnificence of Utah. We drove to California on a trip of a lifetime starting in Vermont. Sounds crazy, right?
Currently on break from all my normal routines in all my normal places, and instead am taking in parts of our world I’ve never seen before, with three quite hilarious friends. We’ve discovered so much, especially that this planet is filled with more beauty than imaginable.
Until next week! xxoo