Do you remember when stores were CLOSED on New Year’s Day? And Christmas Day.
I don’t mean a few stores, I mean everything except for a few gas stations, the odd pharmacy and the occasional restaurant.
The streets were near vacant because there was nowhere to go except to friends, family or nature.
Today I drove to a friend’s place. It is New Year’s Day. Parking lots had a noticeable amount of cars in them. Not as bad as during the holiday frenzy and yet, still, a plentitude of cars dotting the asphalt landscape.
But surely I was mistaken! Surely people aren’t actually shopping on New Year’s Day.
Nope. That Winners had someone coming out of it. Those other people were headed into some other store.
Yes, there were still places closed. But it wasn’t like before. It wasn’t a case that almost everyone had the day off except for near essential services (food, gas and medication). Some number were still free from the work world, but many were not so lucky. Not nearly enough of them.
The joy of these days was that the world rested. In the midst of the silent season, we would go quiet, rest and celebrate that rest.
Now our culture has led us to strip ourselves of even that. Despite the joy I take in the season, I see many nasty roads we are taking ourselves down. This one in particular struck me painfully today.
We’re forgetting how to let ourselves rest, how to turn off, how to let go. Despite broader understanding of the need for rest and respite, we are taking ever more steps towards a world where that is forgotten, devalued, tossed aside like three day old chicken bones that never saw the inside of a fridge.