We (the collective we) do this all the time, don’t we? We say, “We should go away for the weekend.” Or, “I need a vacation.” We look wistfully at pictures of serene (or exciting) places and reminisce about the last time we had a proper vacation. And then we sigh and carry on.
I’m horrible about doing this. I work for an airline and the only time I used my flight benefits in the last four months was to go to Blissdom (which was handy, to be sure). People I work with go to Vegas for the weekend or to the next province for the afternoon. Or to Amsterdam for 3 days.
I’m not quite that ambitious, but we have talked about going to San Diego for a weekend. I’d like to go back home and see friends and family. I’d really like to book myself a tropical vacation but it might be a while before that happens. (Although… baby-moon? Maybe.)
As we were coming up to Easter I started to muse aloud about going away for the weekend. Just an hour from here, into the mountains. We needed a change of scenery.
So we went.
As is typical, it was a last-minute decision. My mom had come to visit and my brother had gone to Australia (for two days – on flight benefits. See what I mean?) and my pregnant-with-twins sister-in-law was here on her own. So we decided to take them with us.
It took me a while to find a place that (a) had a vacancy and (b) would be able to sleep our odd assortment of family. But I found one, we shipped the dog to my mother-in-law’s and went.
We didn’t even do a lot – none of the adventurous things I had been pondering. We went for dinner. We went for lunch. We hid Easter eggs. And we walked.
Out there in the silence, with occasional sounds of crunching snow, it’s easy to feel like a mere speck in the universe. Other things fade away and life’s most basic things are what feel important. Like sunshine and flowing water. Like tracks of animals who came before and who worry less about work-life balance and more about the balance of existence.
And like the first time a small boy rattles a stick on a metal bridge.
This environment suggests quiet and observation. It makes me stop and think. And it leaves me with a feeling I can’t describe.
Which is fine, because sometimes no words are necessary.
*For bonus points, name that (very good) children’s book.