Labor Day

I have a fraught relationship with Labor Day. It's the time of year that, even after all of these years, I associate with going back to school, which to me, meant the end of life. The end of freedom.

The end. Every year.

I took stock of the anxious feeling I get around this time of year and calculated that I've been beholden to an academic calendar for 3/4 of my life, as a student and as an employee. But those days are over.

Fin. Expunged. In the past.

So remind me to breathe. Life doesn't end on Tuesday. Summer lasts until the equinox, and there isn't a syllabus in sight.



Someone on Twitter asked, "For you, when does Autumn start? Is it a set date or do you look for natural signs?"

I respond: autumn starts when the jays begin hoarding acorns, which is later in the year than the squirrels. When the sun begins to set over the hills rather than where the river meets the hills. When the nights are cool even if the days are warm. In Portland there is rain. Some years lots of rain. Summer can last well through September some years, some years it lasts only until late August. Some years, like this one, autumn begins before the leaves begin to turn. Some years the leaves have turned and have been blown away by hot, dusty squalls before fall really sets in. 

What would you say? What do you look for when looking for signs of fall?