Friday, June 22, 2007

Why I should still be on vacation

I know it was only a long weekend. I know I blogged about it already. But I miss it. You'll just have to bear with me as I detail why.

I have no kitchen window in my apartment. One of the reasons I like to wash dishes is because I can look out the window and my hands will automatically do the work. It's a free moment for my brain to go where it needs to. The breeze blows in and carries the scent of whatever might be out there -water, wild roses, that dark piney smell I love. I've come to associate the feel of a dishtowel and soapy water with vacation because it's the only time I have the luxury of a window.

I like to wander around a quiet, half-awake house with a cup of coffee in my hands, absent mindedly dragging my book along too... whether I read it or not depends on the company, the quiet and how awake I am. Bare feet on cool morning floors at a vacation house - one of my favorite things.

Playing hard befriends good sleep. Dropping into bed without losing the feeling of being surrounded by water, my skin feels sand-scoured and sun-bleached like line dried laundry. The whole house is silent in a very peaceful way as everyone falls back into their bodies, heavy with sleep.

Eating around one big table together. "Please pass the..." punctuated by laughter and sibling teasing. The pauses where mouths are so full of good food that no one speaks for a moment or two.

This will sound like a lecture on yankee work ethic, but I was raised to earn my relaxation - so going to camp or "upta maine" meant that work was expected, should be sought out. Stacking wood, clearing brush, painting walls, sweeping floors... some kind of domestic labor has always helped me settle in and so relax even more. I don't know what to call it - vacation nesting? Something like that.

Being at home for these things (dishes, chores, morning, bedtime) is different. Chores and movement are all routine and too familiar. I don't notice doing them in quite the same way, overwhelmed by my day, or my environment. Vacation is a chance to step outside of that. I'm lucky to have homey places to retreat to where the familiar becomes invigorating, and even luckier to have friends and family to be with in these places who feel the same way.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I just wanted to take a minute to compliment you on the writing in this post and "Long Weekend". I was on the phone with Bobbi last night, and she asked how the trip to the cape was. I sent her to these and had her read them out loud...they sounded really good and captured the whole mood of the week. Bobbi was even more sorry she couldn't have been there.