I swore when I was on vacation that I would hold on to how I felt right then and that I would take it back home with me. I would have been lying in what was my brother’s childhood vacation bedroom. We would have been back from the beach and the late afternoon sun would have been coming through the window. We would have had a late lunch and been looking at a simple dinner. There was not much else to do right at that moment but lay back on the bed and stare out the window at the blueberry field behind the house. Or pick up a book. Or dream in my notebook. Or listen to my children chatter downstairs. Or decide at the last minute to go back and have a campfire on the beach.
It was very easy right then, to think that yes, this is the way life should be. It’s like vacation always is. When you are so wrapped up in the goodness of it all that your mind starts daydreaming to ways you could live here, you could give up your day job. You could have one plate, some old hand me down furniture and days to just sit by the waves. Then you think that you can carry that peace back home. You begin to imagine you can make home this way. Why IS it so mad, you wonder?
So there I was making oaths to myself in the upstairs of my parents home in Nova Scotia. When you are about 1,150 miles from home it’s easy to do this. By the time we found ourselves mobbed by cars on the New Jersey turnpike, surrounded by so many people in a rest area, I wanted to throw my hands over my head, click my heels three times and whisper, “I want to go back to the nothingness”. By the time I returned to work on Tuesday and found myself back in the work, dinner, household routine, I was ready to cry.
But it’s perspective. This IS my life. There is no changing that. I have work to do, two children to care for, three (grrr) pets and a house to tend. But I can still find a way to hold onto that state of mind. I can still try to take the time to lay quietly on the bed with a book or take a walk down by the water.
Today we woke up and took care of the back to school business early, 24 glue sticks and countless pencils later…we were home and I was doing laundry….and then suddenly this afternoon we decided to run down to the park. Get back in the fresh air and sit by the river and watch the ducks. We made it home for a quick dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomatoes from the garden before we went down to the community theatre to see them perform “The Wizard of Oz”.
The laundry. Still here. The dishes. Unfortunately still in the sink. I’m still considering the one plate for each of us way of life, but I’ve been doing that for awhile now. I still have one bag that remains unpacked, one week later. There have been more important things, like photos, and writing and sit downs by the river, watching the ducks, bare feet on the dock boards, no plans for dinner in sight.
I’m trying still to rid myself of the monkey mind. The daily grind. I’m going to put some of these photos up. The ones from this journey. Remind myself to slow down, breathe, enjoy. To slip back into that vacation state of mind I had in that bedroom in the great North Atlantic.