Labor Day is a Sound (Weekly Writing Challenge)

Labor Day weekend is announced by a sound, the sound of planes.  Labor Day weekend hosts an air show each year where I live and for the days leading up to it, the air would occasionally be filled with the roar and whirring hum of jets.

The planes practiced when students were fresh back at school.  As elementary students we squirmed, getting back into the rote schedule of assignments, tests, and class periods set apart by a shrill clanging bell.  The seats felt particular cold and the desks particularly bulky against our knees after the freedom of summer.  Then we would hear it in the distance.  A woosh coming closer and closer, surging into a whine, a shriek, a roar that filled your ears.  The teacher’s mouth still moved, but every student was deaf to her words. Over our heads bright colored metal creatures practiced hairpin turns and loops with earsplitting cracks of thunder.  Sometimes we could see them from the window.  The pilots rejoiced in the wonder of flight and us students, we marveled at their show.  Summer’s thrill still existed.

At home I scanned the skies.  From my front porch I had access to a free show, provided the jets flew over my area.  I’d wait hopefully in the summer heat.  The world was in vivid focus.  Sun sent searing white light.  Green grass was emblazoned against golden brown sidewalks and black asphalt black.  Ripples of humidity danced about.  All that fell away as I train my ear for the roar of rare metal dragons, scan the cloudless blue sky above me for triumphant dance of planes.  Rows of houses blocked my view of the horizon, but sometimes, as an answer to wordless prayer, the jets zoom right over the rooftops.  Eagle sight, dragon speed, metal motor VROOM!

“Look!  There it is!”  My shouts inaudible over the long loud thunder rattling eardrums and window panes.  I point insistently, mouth open wide in awe, at the lines drawn in the sky by dancing warriors, yelling battle cries and singing songs of triumph.  Once, I swear, a jet swooped right between two houses, greeting neighbors with a heart throbbing hello.

4 years at college and the thrum of jets was forgotten.  Labor Day became just another day of school work.  No roaring jets, no excited yells.  Except now I’m home and faintly I hear the thundering boom and swooping hiss.  I remember the childhood wonder of Labor Day and the dancing sounds of planes.

Wrote this post in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge  from The Daily Post at WordPress.com.  The challenge was all about the tie between sound and blogging, sound and writing.  Hope you enjoy!

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