Fierce Green Fire: Everyone deserves a ‘Spring Break’ to enjoy the outdoors

By Jonathan Hicks
Staff Writer

Spring Break is the best thing ever. I exaggerate, of course, but it is pretty great. It is so great that I capitalize it, even though it is not technically supposed to garner such a formal designation.

Spring break offers the mind a chance to wander. The body only sometimes follows, and I suspect that is half of the appeal. During what I referred to as “Spring Break Oh 10” (mostly because it makes me chuckle…though for the life of me, I don’t know why), I let my mind wander. The warmth and sunlight of the fresh season, coupled with the perception of complete freedom, is overpowering in the best possible way. There is less snow and more rain. There are insects in the air again, but it is still too cold for mosquitoes. The green pushes its way from beneath the gray and brown leaves, a courier reminding us that the trilliums and May apples are on their way.

Even if we already knew that winter was over, being given the chance to take a deep breath solidifies the thought. It boggles my mind that more businesses and institutions don’t encourage a spring break. Why should only privileged students such as I be allowed access to this beautiful reprieve? It seems unfair somehow that only a fortunate few are given this pardon from reality.

Dear bosses: If you are reading this, let your employees take the rest of today to go play outside. They deserve it, and so do you. It will be just like being back in school. Dear employees: Assuming that your boss doesn’t let you go play outside today, I encourage you to take the rest of the workday to daydream. Dream about where you would rather be and who you would rather be with. Make a list of the places you want to go…then make a list of the places you NEED to go. If your boss won’t give you a spring break, you deserve to take one for yourself.

Nature is restorative. Even if not consciously aware of it, for many people, simply spending time outside allows for daydreaming. It allows us to imagine the infinite possibilities of life and consider how we might make tomorrow better than today.

It is spring. We need a break. Nature aside, those are pretty straightforward ideas. Maybe we don’t need an official reprieve. Maybe daydreaming about life’s possibilities is enough. Maybe spring break doesn’t need to have a formal title. Maybe spring break is just the time to think about all the maybes. Some people like to make plans. Others prefer to make promises. I think we should just focus on a few good possibilities.

Oh, and bosses, don’t be upset…you brought this on yourselves.

From the March 31-April 6, 2010 issue

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