I have a wonderful 78-year-old friend who lives next door, next door being a quarter of a mile away. June is from Fort Vermillion in Alberta, Canada, which is north of Edmonton, which is already north of just about everywhere else in the world. She is who Meryl Streep’s character in “Out of Africa” would have become if she’d stayed in Africa instead of going back to Denmark.
For the last thirty years June has traversed Crooked Island’s backroads, first by scooter, later by van, taking food and a listening ear to folks from Cripple Hill to True Blue. She knows everyone. Everyone knows her. She is much beloved.
But even though June specializes in selflessness, I guess you don’t grow up in Fort Vermillion without learning how to take care of yourself, too. So every now and then she announces it’s a National Holiday.
National Holidays can be declared for any number of reasons, or no reason. On National Holidays you don’t owe anyone (including yourself) an explanation for anything. The day is yours.
There’s a world of difference between thinking or saying “I’m stressed, I’m sad, I need a break, and hot dog, it’s a National Holiday.” One feels like defeat, the other, celebration.
We all work really, really hard at being good at everything we do in life. On a National Holiday, deserving Third Island friends, you will be held accountable for one thing and one thing only: the quality and longevity of your savasana.