03 January 2009

Personal Holidays

This time of year always makes me think about the calendar of holidays we in the U.S. celebrate. You know, the ones thought enough of to get printed into most calendars, day planners and the like. Christmas, New Years, Halloween, the Fourth of July, and on down the list; these are our national times of celebration and reflection. But what about those days special to a select few, don’t those days deserve a little attention as well? I think the time has come to rebel against certain overly commercialized holidays in favor of a “personal holiday” movement.

What is a personal holiday? Any day you deem worthy of celebration. I’m not talking about Mondays because you hate going back to work after the weekend. No, that’s a mental health day, a different thing altogether. What I am talking about are days special to each of us as individuals. Allow me to give you a few examples from my own set of personal holidays to set the stage:

1. Birthdays. Well, duh! Everyone should be allowed to celebrate their birthday if they wish. I will be once again celebrating my 25th birthday this year. Hey, no arguments, it is my holiday after all!

2. Winter solstice. What more perfect time to reflect upon the year past, and plan for the year to come than on the shortest day of our circuit around great Sol.

3. Trout season opener on the Collowash. Clean up the fly line, tie on a new leader, grab a handful of orange elk hair caddis flies and head up the river. Sure the water is always too high to fish at that time of year, the fish down in the Clackamas waiting for the cfs to drop, but it is important I celebrate my ability to legally get skunked on a stretch of wild and tumbling water whilst checking out how much the river changed over winter.

4. Mt St Helens day. May 18th, 1980, a lovely conical Northwest mountain demonstrated just a little of natures power with great panache. This is a day to remember, a day to celebrate the wonders of nature, and remember to give old Ma Nature her due respect every time we head to the wilds.

5. The first good hard rain after a long dry summer. There are few things better for the spirit and the soul than a good hike in a hard rain after a dusty stretch. It cleans, it renews, and it invigorates. I heartily recommend it to anyone who cares to get a little wet.

What are the personal holidays you would like to celebrate each year? What holidays are you willing to get rid of in exchange. The loss of Valentine’s day, President’s day, and Columbus day certainly wouldn’t hurt my feelings! I like to think my year is just a little more magical looking forward to my own special days, rather than letting my calendar tell me when to celebrate and why.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season these last few weeks. And here is to celebrating in our own ways over the next 360 some odd rotations of this old planet we call home. Look for my line of “Excellently Explosive Mt St Helens Day” cards in a store near you soon.

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