Thursday, August 1, 2013

What I Brought Home

I’ve been on vacation, with spotty internet access, for two weeks. First a week of percussion camp for Oldest in Minneapolis, then a week of Family Camp in Michigan. Haven’t written much. Most of this month, in fact has been spent away from home. Writing, picture-taking, even reading, have been spotty. I’m looking forward to getting into a real routine in a few weeks. And at the same time “Summer is not over yet…Summer is not over yet…Summer is not over yet” is running in a continual loop in my head.

I’m home now, wrestling with laundry and email and phone calls and schedules. Writing and picture-taking and reading are still taking a back seat…

I wonder how I’ll look back on this summer. A lot of it has been about being in difficult places, and also about rest, and recovery. And I’m not done with any of those things, even though I’m feeling stronger.

Vacation was good. Time and rest and friends and experiences. I’ve never been big on buying souvenirs, but I always bring things home with me. This time was no different:


A note from Middle, given to me before I left for Minneapolis.

Wasabi peas. My dad keeps me supplied from Trader Joe’s when I visit, because the only kind I can get at home are dyed bright green and I refuse to buy those.

Dirty shoes (= adventures.)

Taller, older, more complicated children. I want to stop myself from saying it’s happening so fast, their growing up, because I was always so annoyed when adults said it to me. But it’s true, and so what if it’s a cliché? It’s shocking enough to seem worth mentioning.

Notes. The rough beginnings of things I want to write about, the titles of things I want to read, the thoughts and images I want to keep and play with and internalize.

Conversations. I carry them close, let them work in and on me.

Sore muscles. Mostly from a climbing wall last week. (Yes, I'm proud.) Having pushed myself to do hard things is something I want to carry as close as my notes and conversations. I’ve spent a fair amount of my life hesitating and shrinking back, and it’s a habit I want to shed completely. Slowly, I’m teaching myself.

Fewer sore muscles than I could have. Not because I’m terribly strong but because I spent so much less energy holding on for dear life when I tried hard things. It’s comforting to know that physical challenges are like performing: you can grow accustomed to putting yourself out there, at least enough to believe you will survive. Zip line, high ropes course, Tarzan swing—I am learning to trust the ropes.

The memory of a roller coaster ride with Oldest. I have not been on a roller coaster, not a big one anyway, since some time in high school. And I absolutely love that I still love them.
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I think I came back richer. I’m determined to not forget.


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