As an adjective, the accent is placed upon the second syllable, and recalls of supreme dignity and grandeur, with images of a Roman Centurion with his breastplate shining in the full sun of power and prestige. As a noun, it is the doldrums of the eighth month, but where a breath of coolness always invades and reminds us of the possibilities, and of the coming winter still to arrive.
The inflection upon the first syllable makes all the difference; yet, the word remains the same, and only the harkening echo of a meaning concealed by mere intonation of voice. What reminds of possibilities yet to be revealed? Do smells, sounds and memories of potentialities unseen but foretold by parents, uncles and relatives, of the limitless anticipation of a world still before us? Or of that cool respite, when the heat of summer turns suddenly a winter’s reminder, and allows us to bask in the sweat of our own memories, when toil was but a lazy dream in the midst of shadows by the stream’s edge?
There are times in life when possibilities seem endless, and the potentiality for happiness, joy, and sheer pleasure are limitless but for the darkness of our inner essences; when childhood memories once granted the wishes of a butterfly’s dream, and love was still the scent of flowers yet blooming in the valley below. But life tends to intrude and intercede; interruptions of august dreams in the doldrums of August nights; but for us, dreams are the escape from the reality of today, where tomorrow only brings sorrows but for lonely nights where the unity of solitude interrupts the daily grind of reality.
We never could precisely pinpoint when childhood ended; only, that adulthood “is”, and forever was. Those summer dreams when the first kiss awoke our inner stirrings; when innocence was lost forever; and, somehow, we grew up with august reminders in those lazy August days when the fireflies died, and darkness enveloped the universe of possibilities. There will still be days when we believe in ourselves; but as lives pass by, we watch and listen, and rarely see.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who feel the heat of summer’s suffocating dawns, those few days when the blast of reminders come our way, we relish and believe that the August doldrums are now behind us, only to realized that the days ahead will still embrace the sweat and toil of endless streams of treadmill repetitions.
When a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal worker’s positional duties, it is time to harken back to the days when august thoughts pervaded, and leave behind the August doldrums of sweat-filled concerns. Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the best option left as a reminder that August is the month of possibilities yet unfulfilled, and where august thoughts must emphasize the syllable following the doldrums of past reflections.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire