Labor Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I know for many people, Labor Day is a popular holiday that marks a turning point in the year.

Getting away from it all and reflecting on the year's labors and blessings.

For most of the students out there, Labor Day means the end of vacation and a return to school. For others, Labor Day ushers out the end of summer and beckons the dawn of autumn.

Soon the leaves will begin to change and the temperatures will start to drop. That is something we desert dwellers especially look forward to every year.

The origin of Labor Day might be one of the least known of all the holidays we celebrate in this country. I, for one, had to do a bit of research on the subject before I wrote this post.

Labor Day originated in 1882, in New York City, and was the creation of the labor movement that is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. While the founder of Labor Day may be disputed, depending on whom you ask, it is always celebrated on the first Monday of September.

This year, my wife and I decided to take a couple of days and explore the “high country” of Arizona over the Labor Day weekend. We rented a cabin at a lodge just outside the small town of Payson, at the base of the Mogollon Rim.

The scenery was picturesque, with mountain peaks in the background, tall pine trees that scented the air, and a trout-filled creek bubbling a mere 100 feet from the back deck of our traditional log cabin.

The morning temperatures were crisp and the afternoons a bit warm. But late afternoon thunderstorms and rain showers cooled the air just in time for a quick hike along the creek before dinner.

After dinner, we enjoyed s’mores by the campfire and listened to live music from inside the dance hall as the stars shimmered above our heads and filled the darkened night sky.

The following day, we spent some time exploring a couple of quiet mountain lakes on top of the rim. One of the lakes was fairly crowded, due to the holiday weekend, but the other was quiet and provided a tranquil backdrop perfect for relaxing in the warm afternoon sun.

Later that day, we drove along the edge of the rim and spent some time at a couple of lookouts over the valley below. I wish I could find the words to describe the beauty of the scenery that day.

The highlight of our trip for me, aside from just spending quality time with my wife, was visiting a local fish hatchery. I don’t get to fish nearly as much as I’d like to these days, but having the opportunity to see where most of the trout that are used to stock many of the mountain lakes and streams are raised was a pretty incredible thing.

Any time we celebrate a holiday, I always try to take time to reflect on the meaning behind the day and where I’m at in my life. I know I am truly blessed to have a loving wife, a good job, and a roof over my head.

Having the opportunity to get away and reflect really brought the importance of these blessings into perspective, and for that I am truly grateful.

Did you do anything special for the Labor Day weekend this year? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on twitter at @CDGLA or email:

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