Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Winter's coming early
It's a cold gray morning and the rain washed air feels like an introduction to winter at the ragged end of autumn. It is supposed to be warmer later this week and some part of me wishes it were warmer now, not Sahara hot, just late spring hot. I'm a little wistful that summer is nearly at an end and fall is closing in fast. I'm always a little wistful as the season turn and the year moves toward its end. Time moves so quickly, much quicker than when I was a child when summers seemed endless and the school year plodded forever from the day after Labor Day to June. It's no wonder most of the holidays are in the bottom of the year and not at the top. After all, what do we need with holidays in the summer when we're already on holiday? Adults can make their own holidays and children need help.
Children are without jobs and money and vacation time, except for what the government allows, and cannot take off on a long weekend or one- or two-week hiatuses anywhere in the world. Children look forward to Columbus Day for their first glimpse of parole from their studies, followed by Thanksgiving's four-day weekend, the week long excitement of Christmas, followed closely by New Year's, Martin Luther King day, Presidents' day, and Good Friday before Easter. Memorial Day is the crowning glory because it means summer is nearly here with the intoxicating extravagance of three months of freedom and sunshine. Children live for the holidays, the days when they don't have to rise with the sun and stumble sleepily through breakfast and dressing and are thrust into the rushing swirls and eddies of school days. School has compensations, like going to the library, recess and lunch, and let's not forget field trips, but it is work and no doubt about that. Even those who shirk the work don't get off so easily as they are more than likely going to spend time after school cooling their heels in detention, their parole delayed.
I am looking forward to the week between Christmas and New Year's when I will take another week's vacation, this time actually being paid for the time. But before that I will see Beanie and spend some time with her. It has been a long time since we could sit and talk or go somewhere together and I am looking forward to it. I'm sure we can find something to do and see. I will definitely have to take her up to Winslow Pass to see the panoramic views and to the blackened matchstick trees of the Hayman fire. Maybe we'll even go to see the cabin where I spent idyllic days close to nature in my secluded hideaway. I don't know.
After Beanie's visit I'm planning to go to Missouri for Thanksgiving and I have four whole days of vacation for that, two vacation days and two weekend days. Then after my Christmas/Yule break I have another week, and maybe two, of summer vacation. I've decided to go to Alaska next year on parole from my work. I also plan to take the certification exams so that I will have a third week of vacation to plan and take next year.
I no longer have that three-month stretch of summer sun and freedom to look forward to, but in addition to the government planned holidays I get to take, I have my own little holidays. I do miss school days and having nothing to do but learn and look at boys. Still, I have a much better reason for taking a vacation -- work. It's all relative. Neither children nor adults get off Scot free. We all have to earn our freedom and holidays however we can. Adults earn holidays with work and children with learning, which they consider work. Each envies the other's freedom and easy life never realizing what they have in their grasp.