We are the people who can’t take vacations. We hear the whispers– nay shouts, of our ancestors—’Sybarites! Hedonists! You’re the reason Rome fell!’
So how do you expect us to take a break? Take a lie in the sun on a beach? Who in hell are you kidding? We are the people who make the world work. We labor for results that reach far beyond ourselves. When we put our shoulders to the plow, by God, you see turned earth.
I grew up, part-time on a farm in New Hampshire. My husband Bruce grew up on a farm in Massachussetts. When you step out on a farm, things happen. Chips fly, seedlings are set out, trees cut down, uprooted weeds pile in mountains, their green fading, wilting. The earth takes in manure as you turn deep cuts of mulberry brown soil over and re-spade, then do it one more time, the clods crumbling, accepting the change. You take the wheelbarrow back to the neighbor’s barns and load it up again with rich offal reeking while flies swim lazy in the air. Back and back again. (And what back by the way? Backs have the obligation to remain silent until the job is done.)
So how can we deal with the idea that the purpose (how can it be so misnamed) of action might be the relaxation of our puny bodies? Unnatural thought. We’ll need so much brainwashing before we believe in that notion of ‘vacation’ that a legion of CDC and NIMH flunkies will fall asleep in the fields before we give in.