Another Green Lush August -- What To Do With You?

Have you ever noticed, August is the only month of the year without any major holidays. Just 31 hot days in a green row which have been too often dismissed as “the dog days of summer.” Sort of an interval between the end of busy school terms in June and vacations in July, and the approaching new school terms in September. In other words, some time on our hands.

But now lets reconfigure that take on time!

Lazy time, vacation time, free time, dog-day time — whatever some call it, none of it should be considered dead time. Time is too short and precious to write off like that. So here’s my idea. August in Chicago can and should be the ideal time to take time by the hand and make it work for you.

Instead of simply living it, this small slab of time sliced out of the sprawling marble of our lives can be a grand opportunity to think. Yeah, think! You see, all too often what we do with our time is live-it-up like a cold cup of water under a sweltering summer sun. But I’m proposing instead we think-it-up like some wonderful poem we want to memorize for the rest of our life. In other words, we take this chunk of hot summer time in our fragile grasp in order to actually examine what this gift of time means.

OK, I hear you saying, “I did stuff like that back in my college Lit days!” My response? So who said your once-upon-a-time probing and searching powerful literature ended just because the class did?

It will be August again soon. If by then our little blue planet has not yet wrenched itself into the oblivion every generation seems to toy with, we may have some green time on our hands. Time to consider not only how to live-it-up, but also how to think-it-up. Think and reflect as did those writers we used to admire in class, all in order to travel the highest and farthest reaches of their great thoughts. But also their great doubts.

Among the strongest of the thoughts and doubts I came across lo those many Augusts ago: “Life is not so much a problem to be solved, as it is a mystery to be lived.”

I’ll be trying all month long….

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