Friday, May 01, 2009

A week ago right now...

Whenever I take a trip, no matter how long or short, I spend inordinate amounts of time sitting still, looking around me, listening, breathing deeply in order to live and experience the moment fully. I take photos of my hands and feet so that later on, I will have proof that I was, indeed, there.

Whenever I take a trip, no matter how long or short, I spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about the trip once it is over. I rehearse meals, conversations, activities in order to remind myself that I was, indeed, there. My thoughts sound like this: "Twenty-four hours ago right now, I was... Six weeks ago right now, I was ... Two years ago right now, I was..."

This is our little clan at a gas station, taking a quick break on our way to the beach last Friday. No, we didn't buy any of the fireworks or pecan log rolls or gourmet peach syrup or pecan brittle available at the shop next door.


Today, I have thought: "A week ago right now, I was..."
For example, right now: "A week ago right now, I was still in the car driving to Doris' house for the weekend. We were eating Cracked Pepper and Salt potato chips, and I was sipping my water bottle."

This afternoon, I pulled out my favorite travel book, The Way of the Traveler, and read about the final stages of any journey: pondering and retelling the tale, putting away all the things taken along and displaying the momentos brought back. On this trip, the only things I brought back were a few seashells, five postcards, and a bag of lifesavers. (So far, so good on my resolve to spend less and give away more...)

One of the gems from the book is in the form of a quote that
Pam Brown wrote about the treasures brought home from travel:
"You will bring back pots and pictures.
A sheaf of photographs. A jingle of coins.
But you will bring back more.
A vision of a wide world. Remembered laughter.
New friends. New understanding."

No, I didn't parasail. But I did watch in wonder at the courage of those who did. And I thought of the courage it took for us to go
- in the face of criticism and contempt.

There were many reasons and excuses I could have given for not going on this trip. The criticisms from friends/enemies/critics almost kept me at home. But I went. I am glad I did. I ventured forth. I returned exhilarated, rejuvenated, recharged.

Once again, this treasured volume spoke truth to me as I perused it earlier.
"Everywhere I have gone, everything I have done,
has been for this - the spiritual lesson I now take within.
Had I stayed at home when the journey called me,
I would never have learned this lesson.
Gratitude fills my heart."

1 comment:

Amy said...

And good for you for going! It sounds as though this was a fun and soul-restorative trip. Thank you or inspiring me to do the same(and I'll let you know when I do!)!