By Sally Rice, August 1, 2011
Seasons come and go. The years pass by seemingly flippant, as we coast, race, buckle down, brace for impact, or just cruise in neutral towards our future, our mortal destiny, while we execute the blueprint given to us at birth, to “boldly go where no man has ever gone before,” turning immortal dreams into mortal reality on this crazy tour on Earth, during this lifetime, the one and only that is our greatest gift today.
For those of us attempting to live “consciously” or in an “awakened state,” (if that is indeed possible) chances are there are a lot of to-do lists on our charter towards enlightenment. Lots of things to learn, and habits to break, as if life were stuck on that proverbial “New Year’s Day,” while we make daily, (sometimes hourly) resolutions determined to create a brighter, more balanced future in our personal journey to evolve our souls.
Then August arrives. The eighth month of the year, and in the Northern Hemisphere, the hottest, which is certainly the case here in California, where temperatures are currently blazing triple digits.
Living in an incubator, this eighth month is like a pregnancy, and next month a beautiful new creation shall emerge from our “celestial” womb, but like this same month in any woman’s gesticulation cycle, August must be dedicated to nothing more than chillin’ and waitin’ for the delivery.
For now, despite the many to-do lists, areas that need organization, projects to complete, this month shall be, by default, dedicated to rest and relaxation in the finest way one can muster, as there seems no way out of this biblical demand to rest on the seventh day, and my friend, August is our seventh day, a time that demands rest, relaxation, and reflection.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that most countries in the Western World designate August for vacation. In fact many European countries actually pay their citizens to chill out this month; take Italy for example:
Living in Florence for 11 years as an “alien,” I was not eligible for the national dole which consists of a full month’s paycheck and a governmental recommendation to take a break. It’s a practice common throughout Western Europe, but in Italy, vacations are taken especially seriously, as the well known mantra of this mediterranean jewel states: “Si lavora per vivere, non si vive per lavorare,” “one works to live, not lives to work,” which needs no further explaination. And logic has deemed August the official vacation month.
If you travel to Italy in August, expect to see a significant number of businesses closed, that is, small businesses – restaurants and shops – as larger multi-nationals such as GAP, or Starbucks will remain open. But walking through any downtown area of any Italian city during August will shock visitors as they are bombarded with “closed, gone on vacation” signs block the entrance to shops whose window displays feature your favorite shopping prize.
The mandatory vacation culminates in “ferragosto” (end of summer holiday) when on August 25, Italian citizens are encouraged to wrap it up, return home, and get ready to be back at work promptly on September 1st. Once back at work, the agenda becomes: “Where do we go on holiday next year?”
With that history well engraved on this traveler’s spirit, and despite the currently extensive list of responsibilities and obligations, it seems that nothing has become more difficult these days, than Work.
No use fighting it, my beloved August, my heart, my simple unplanned and unmanaged life today, is yours. In return I bestow my most valuable gift dear August, for to you I give all my time, with no distractions.
Today, your sun shines gloriously on silver plated ocean waters that glisten at noon, while bills lay on my office desk, and the mental list of chores I “should” be addressing keeps growing. I dole my life to you – to bask in your consoling arms of repose that take me away to a quiet place where spirit batteries recharge my soul.
I lay in this incubator of time, resting, awaiting the birth of a new celestial burst of inspiration and creation that is the climax of all the ventures, exploits, and mad-men efforts to build castles on hopes and dreams that with this month of silent, reflective meditation, will burst forth in September when new energies will re-ignite this mortal body to keep on truckin’ – hopefully with a lot more horsepower than this old buggy is harnessing now, in quiet, calm and soothing, Augosto.