Today is Labor Day here in America, where I’ve been for the past two months. Tomorrow is back to London and back to work. Looking back at the last post I put up here, I realise I’ve taken the entire month of August off from blogging and also from all work, entirely. It wasn’t the plan, but clearly it was something I needed to do, especially to get myself ready for what looks to be a rather work-intensive year (yes — I still think in terms of academic years…I suppose it’s the mother in me).

It’s all made me muse a bit about the nature of this day in the States. I grew up with it being the signal of the end of summer, the end of vacation, and like a starting pistol, the beginning of school and work. And they’re off….

But that couldn’t possibly be what this holiday is about, can it? During my hippie uni days, I liked to think that it was America’s May Day, a nod to the essential humanity of the working man and woman. But is it really? Well, I’m happy to say yes. According to the US Department of Labor explanation, it really is…
                ..a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

And to top it off, it seems this past March marked the 100th anniversary of the US Department of Labor. So let’s raise a last glass of summer wine to workers everywhere, one of whom will again be me in just a few days.

Despite my sense of camaraderie and belief in the essential nobility of work, I am still clinging with white knuckles to the last minutes of summer. It still breaks my heart to leave the warm weather and my island home behind. To make it a bit easier, though, I’ll sign off with some music from a favourite Motowner, who’s concert this month was one of the highlights of August for me. Ah, Smokey Robinson…
thanks to McVVise for the video