THE HOLIDAY OF DREAMS AND PLANS
We all enjoy celebrating national holidays, remembering those no longer with us on Memorial Day or shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July, savoring turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, and singing carols and exchanging gifts with friends and family on Christmas. Most of us also enjoy celebrating personal holidays like birthdays (at least to a certain age!) and wedding anniversaries. These are all important family and community events that remind us that life is to be enjoyed and that the ties that bind the most, family and friends and community, are also the most meaningful in a life well lived.
Although Martha & I look forward to celebrating all those important Holidays, the most important celebration on our annual calendar is the Second Wednesday in May. We know, it’s a bit arbitrary, an obscure midweek day in the middle of a month sort of the middle of the year. Absent a birthday or anniversary, why would anyone choose to celebrate the Second Wednesday in May?
The “whys” go back 36 years. We played hooky that day, not just from school, or a job. We played hooky from reality. We spent an entire day indulging in our joys, walking in a tree-lined park, viewing fine art in an unfamiliar museum, eating an excellent meal all while discussing us, our world, and the issues of the day. We used the day not just to see our lives as they were, but to imagine the reality of our dreams, the lives we wanted to live. For the last 36 years, every Second Wednesday in May, we have played hooky again; we celebrate that first memory, enjoy the lives we created in the image of the dreams we discussed that day, and imagine again our future lives through the prism of our current dreams.
Over the years we’ve been fortunate sometimes to extend our Second Wednesday in May celebration for more than one day. This year we headed for Seattle, Victoria, and Tacoma, spent six entire days walking the streets, parks and waterfronts of those cities, and viewing some of the finest art on the West Coast, both of artists familiar to us like Dale Chihuly in Seattle’s Chihuly Garden, and new favorites like Preston Singletary in Tacoma’s Museum of Glass. We reviewed our lives, the good and the bad, the sweet and the bittersweet, and discussed our current dreams while enjoying fine food and wine in restaurants we stumbled upon, and we culminated the trip, appropriately on the Second Wednesday in May, with a visit to the ultimate in visions and dreams of beauty, the Butchart Gardens,
Too often, I think, we forget our dreams in the rush and hustle of life. While we’re busy earning a living, acquiring knowledge, raising children, dealing with life’s struggles, being involved in our community’s well-being, we forget that life is meant to be enjoyed. Too easily we forget that passion, and those dreams, that brought us together in the first place.
I don’t know if it would work for everyone, but I can tell you that each Second Thursday of May, Martha & I have awakened refreshed, re- invigorated, more focused on us, more focused on our plans for the future. If I were appointed to the President’s cabinet as Secretary of National Happiness, I’d designate the Second Wednesday in May as a National Holiday, the Holiday of Dreams and Plans, a day set aside each year for each of us to dream, and plan, the life we want to live. As John Lennon said, “you may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, and I hope someday you’ll join us.”