Summer’s Last Gasp

I don’t need a calendar to tell me it’s  the Labour Day weekend. For the past week night  has invited a damp chill into my garden. Fog banks heralded by far away horns, instruct reluctant trees to give up their leaves. Geese gather in parks, nary a glance to frantic squirrels stocking chestnut vaults. Days end with a shout not a whimper; bringing whiffs of autumn beneath the harvest moon.

We never swam after Labour Day; the change of season left no doubt of this unspoken rule. Spring might come early, summer when it was good and ready, winter when you least expected ; fall is always on time.

In Canada, Labour Day history begins in Hamilton, Ontario – 1869. From Hamilton the “9 Hour Movement” spread to Toronto with a petition by the Toronto Printers Union to reduce the work week to nine hours a day, six days a week. Their employers refused the 54 hour work week request – in April of 1872, 2000 striking workers and thousands of supporters marched through downtown Toronto. The illegal strike saw 24 union organizers tossed in jail and replacement workers hired. In June 1872, Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald legalized trade union actions by passing the Trade Union Act. In 1894, Prime Minister Sir John Thompson made Labour Day official.

Understanding history behind the first Monday in September doesn’t change the fact it coincides with summers last gasp.

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11 thoughts on “Summer’s Last Gasp

  1. Not ever having been a northerner, I have never experienced that last gasp but my husband tells me that it’s like the tick of a clock, Labor Day is beautiful and the next day it’s cold and people start their chores preparing for winter.

    • A week or so before Labour Day the night air suddenly has a cool dampness to it. We always try to dismiss the first few leaves as they fall from the trees.Fall always arrives on time 🙂

      I love the seasons.

  2. “Spring might come early, summer when it was good and ready, winter when you least expected ; fall is always on time.”

    I love it — that is SO true.

    Our campers here know well the last gasp of summer. Labor-day’ers are different from all the other summer weekends. They are here to have fun, but in a more sedate and lazy way… as if storing up memories of summer fun for the long winter ahead…

    Spring might come early, summer when it was good and ready, winter when you least expected ; fall is always on time.

    • Thank you so much for the kind response and subsequent sharing of my words. I sat down to write about Labour Day, a hammer hit me on the head with the realization that fall is always on time. I’d never thought about it before.

      Only those who fully experience the seasons understand the last gasp of summer 🙂

  3. Fall is always on time. Lovely expression of the changing season in the first paragraph. When i was a girl, I actually marched in the huge Labour Day parade that happened in Toronto. We marched right through the gate of the CNE, and got a free pass for the day at the fair. I vividly remember my mother explaining why she choose, on this her one rare day off, why it was so important to walk, that labour rights were hard won and it was indeed a cause for a parade, and a yearly celebration.

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