We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves,
or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing.
– Charles Schaefer
Today is Labor Day here in the US. It is a National holiday, but I wonder how many Americans know how it became a holiday. What is Labor Day and how did it get started? Most would say it is a holiday to honor workers, and that is true. Actually Labor Day was created to honor the labor movement. The first large observance of Labor Day was on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York (what is now the AFL-CIO). It became a federal holiday in 1894, when President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement after the Pullman Strike which was a nasty bit of violence most Americans may have studied briefly in school.
But today, Labor Day is more the symbolic end of summer (even though we have 2 weeks left). We mark it with play. We have picnics and last days at beaches (which close here on Labor Day in NY). For many in the Northeast US, school starts right after Labor Day. It is a day in which we are reminded to rest and relax; but also to play.
I really love this word-PLAY…something we seldom consider as adults as we get caught up in the hectic world of work. So why play? Besides having fun, we disengage our minds from our problems, stress, worries. I found I left little time in my life to play and was very stressed a few years back. I had forgotten about play. It seemed childish. Why do I need to play? I have hobbies if I gave myself time to engage in them. I have an important job to do. Really? More important than enjoying your life?
That’s when it hit me. I had stopped playing. Some days I crave play. I know I need play when I get a bit grouchy. Play not only helps improve our mood, but it let’s us be more creative. I remember playing as a child for hours-making believe we were cowboys or playing grocery store. How about that empty appliance box that would keep us more entertained for weeks than any toys because we used our imaginations. Creative play is the play I love best. Play can be anything from watching a comedy, to riding your bike, to experimenting with art supplies.
My favorite type of play these days is gardening. Sometimes I view it as a chore when I look at the whole yard full of weeds and think will I ever get it done. I have decided not to let this overwhelm me or take away my favorite play activity. Just get out there and have fun. Take pictures, wander around, assess the garden and pull some weeds. Plant some flowers and seeds and pick some veggies. Now that is fun. I have been weeding in the heat and humidity and loving it. As I clear the debris, my outlook improves and my view of the garden becomes clearer. I see changes that need to be made so that the garden flows better.
Today is also Hope Grows Day at Sweet Bean Gardening where I am joining Hanni and her wonderful meme which happens every 5th of the month. As I contemplate play this month this is my hope– to play more, worry less, learn more and not to stress.
When I think of play in the garden I think of the critters that keep me laughing or mesmerized. This past month the pollinators have been very busy in the garden. Here are a few playful critter pics…I apologize for the quality since my point and shoot and the woman who works it are limited in their ability…
Hummers getting every last drop out of the monarda. Thankfully they revived with rain in August.
This bee was so drunk with pollen i couldn’t take my eyes off of him. As soon as the sunflower opened he was in it and covered. He could barely fly away.
This dragonfly is so big, he looks like a bi-plane. He loved to perch on top of the cattails in the pond. Love his coloring.
Ants are particularly fascinating to watch. They are so patient in their work. Ants in my garden love the lobelia. Have you ever seen ants tend their larvae. Fascinating….The ants took over my new veg bed and I have given them a wide berth as they tend to the colony. Have you ever upset an ant hill? You’ll know it once they crawl up your legs, arms and everywhere biting….did I say I give them a wide berth…
Monarchs have been very prevalent in the garden this year as compared to other years. Maybe the milkweed and butterfly weed has helped. They seemed to enjoy the echinacea and the Obedient plant as pictured at the top of the page. Here a lovely butterfly is enjoying the black-eyed susans. Soon the birds will be at those seed heads. I plan to study more about butterflies to see who else we can attract into the garden to stay.
I wasn’t sure if this was a butterfly or a moth. Tend to think butterfly. Well it is the smallest one I have seen in the garden. It is the size of a dime. I know it looks similar to the one pictured above, but believe me it is not the same. So lucky to have captured an image.
Thanks for coming out to the garden to play today. Next week is a special post. It will be the one year anniversary of my blog on 9/13. I can hardly believe it…it seems like only yesterday….
The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.
Special Note: All flowers pictured here are from my garden. Flaunt your flowers at Tootsie Time this Friday where she hosts Fertilizer Friday. I’ll be flaunting mine.
Monthly (usually around the 10th) I guest blog at Walkabout Chronicles. Stop by to read my new post!
Book Update-For those that have asked, my 2 poems are being published in the book, The Moment I Knew in early September. Publication is delayed due to a minor glitch with publication, but we are told it should be out in a couple of weeks. I will keep you posted. You can see the announcement in my blog post. Information about sale of the book is forthcoming.
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