When I was growing up Labor Day heralded the last day of summer! Even though the season did not change, our minds did. Labor Day was celebrated by watching the Jerry Lewis MDS telethon or at least hearing it run all day in the background of what ever festivities were going on. There would usually be one last jaunt to Duxbury Beach, or maybe a Family Reunion of all the relatives we only saw once a year, or maybe just a cookout in the back yard. We held on to the last rays of sunlight before we called it a day, because it would be just two short days before we were walking the hardwood floors in our new classrooms!
In the 70's the Blue Laws were repealed in Massachusetts and that meant stores could be open on Sundays and Holidays. We thought it was so "groovy" then, but I realize now, that is when the way of life as we had known it changed. No longer did you travel to relatives to spend the day lazing around on a Sunday afternoon, after a full Sunday Dinner, after services at Church. Life became unpredictable when the stores opened. You didn't have to plan for your day on Sunday, if you forgot something, or needed something, or were bored, you could go shopping.
Today things have changed some more. I am alone on Labor Day this year, while my husband creates his awesome, all encompassing, perfect Fantasy Football Team. My son and daughter in law can not rest today either, for they need to have their store open. My daughter has left her family behind and is flying somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on her way to Kenya. Today, Labor Day, there are no coals on the barbecue.
As I look back on today and compare it to other Labor Days it fizzles to unmemorable. Except for this...
We left early to go to my son's shop to pick up two dozen cupcakes for his Fantasy League Gala, and after chatting for over 45 minutes my son says nonchalantly "oh did you see the seagull in the road?" Now, he is on the ocean so I thought the seagull had met with some dire misfortune, when he said again "No really he is just laying in the road". I ran out to see what in heavens name he was talking about when I came upon the bird. He was straining to lift his head up off the pavement as he lay on his back unable to move anything but his neck. He was scared and could not be lifted without the chance of being severely bitten. So I panicked for someone to help. Finally, my husband went to retrieve a box for him. As I waited I looked at him and he looked at me. We looked at each other and held the look straight into our pupils. Right then I felt like I had seen the real Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It was heart wrenching to say the least. We were able to scoop him into the box and he was stable on his chest. I placed him in a shaded alcove and there we left him.
We went back to the store and to my dismay I learned, that bird had been laying on his back for 4 hours. NO ONE helped him. I know it is just a bird but really. No ONE? I was in tears and angry at my son. Even though I realized that he had a job to do, I was still disappointed. Finally an officer from the Animal Control division came and took the bird away. Hopefully he will be able to recover, he actually ate a cupcake so he can't be all that badly injured. Right? I guess my point is this. Time has gotten away from us. The little things that mean the most to those who need a helping hand are brushed aside while we are busy doing "stuff". Will it all matter in the end? I am not sure but, I know we need to slow down to see what is important to our souls. I hope that my daughter will find spiritual wealth in her journey to Kenya, when she visits some orphanages, and I hope my example of helping that bird will soften the hardened heart of my young male heir. I pray that someday we will all have some common sense to realize convenience isn't always healthy for life, and that slowing down may be the cure for what hurts us! Happy Labor Day.
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