I’ve Never Had a Vacation

Well, summer has finally arrived (even in Michigan!) and everyone is planning a vacation.  This got me to thinking.  In my entire adult life, I’ve never taken a vacation.  I mean a real vacation, not the kind where you take time off to travel to another state for a wedding or family reunion.  That’s busy time.  Everyone wants to see you.  Everyone makes plans for you.

What I find myself craving is some time completely alone, maybe at a cabin in the woods.  A few days when I don’t have to worry about making dinner, letting the dog out, or setting an alarm.  Watching the sun rise.  Quiet, muggy afternoons sitting in a rocker on the porch and listening to the insects buzzing past.  Pointlessly strolling through the woods.  Reading Thoreau and Frost.  Letting my brain quietly soak in everything around me without trying to attach a story to it.  Not having to hold up my end of the conversation.  Just “being” for a while.

Financially, this is impossible right now, so I’ll have to create my own cabin experience right here at home.  No forest retreat, but a lawn chair in the shade will do if I get out there before the neighborhood kids are out and the lawnmowers start up.  It’s a bit of a drive, but there’s a wonderful biking/hiking trail I know of where the sound of traffic gradually disappears, and you can hear the birds so clearly it almost startles you.  If I miss the morning birds because I have to be at my computer, I have a CD of morning songbirds I can play over and over again.  Not ideal, I know; but if I can’t use my imagination to restore balance to my own mind, I can’t expect to use it to bring make believe to a child.

What will your retreat look like this summer?