Day 9: The heart of the matter

The thing about a vacation is this: it’s not really your real life. And most of what you do on vacation is an active escape from the day-to-day that normally defines you. Play-acting in that parallel vacation universe helps you to forget and to unwind. It helps you let go just a little bit, hopefully just enough, of the stuff—all the stuff—that can weigh you down at home.

I’ve been thinking about the heart of the word vacation. We vacate when we empty our houses for other places, or even when we voluntarily leave our workplaces for the sheer purpose of doing nothing. But the real vacation happens when we find that we’ve somehow managed to empty ourselves, unwittingly making room for fresh feelings and hopes and perspectives to take up residence and nest inside us, healing the bits that needed healing. And so—

And so, perhaps the heart of my vacation in Cap Ferret had little to do with food or wine or anything you could or couldn’t buy. It had nothing to do with the house we rented. Or the fancy people who were renting much fancier houses. The heart of my vacation was when I hit “empty.” And that amazing thing happened when I found myself alone in the middle of a place which, in the modern sense of the word, was itself quite eloquently empty…in a place where there were no other people (for that moment), where nothing was happening, where nothing was for sale, nothing was entertaining me…where nothing nothing mattered except just being there, being still, being empty enough to take it all in. Because in actual fact, the place where I found myself, was perfectly, abundantly, profoundly full.

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4 Responses to Day 9: The heart of the matter

  1. Janette Gross says:

    This totally spoke to me. I just read it out loud to my husband and I loved it even more. I will also send it to my son and his friends who just graduated from law school in SF and finished the Bar and are in Mexico rejuvenating before they come back to their hectic Bay Area/NY etc. lives. Thank you!

    • Thanks Janette! I’m so happy…funny thing about that “emptiness”…it’s so hard to hang on to. I’ve got to learn to recreate it under normal circumstances…I guess that’s where yoga comes in. Sigh.

  2. Pingback: Closed/Week in review | The Daily Cure

  3. Oh, I know the same feeling…..places I knew as a child in the woods behind our farm….and now as I sit happily, quietly retired in my old village garden…..all that is peaceful…..

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