Nearly thirty hours and 1900 miles on the road this past week . . . vacation, they call it. A break in the story. A digression from the plot.
Barry, Elisabeth, and I navigated our way to Covington, KY where we stepped back in time to witness the first eleven chapters of Genesis at the Creation Museum. We learned how the Flood has impacted the world of today and how the Tower of Babel scattered the population to the ends of the earth. We found ourselves flung into space among the stars of the Milky Way and beyond. We pondered the past, snapped photos, and dodged dinosaurs. Time well spent, we decided.
Next we meandered "up north" to Michigan, the favorite gathering place each summer for Barry's side of the family. Here we found a warm welcome and a pink dusky sky awaiting our arrival. Over twenty adults and children came and went over several days, savoring not only the sun-kissed beach but abundant comfortable laughter and conversation . . the feeling of belonging, all centered in memories built over a lifetime.
We played together, ate together, worked together. Some hiked the dunes; others poked around the Main Street shops. The brave splashed in the frigid lake water while others preferred a walk on the pier to the lighthouse. On the fourth, we all climbed the hill to see the parade and stayed up late to watch fireworks on the beach. A diverse bunch in every way, yet bonded together by blood . . . and a commitment to connect, miles notwithstanding.
Late Saturday afternoon we pulled into our driveway, home once again, back to our usual schedules and calling commitments. But we carry the memories with us, memories tucked into our hearts. Perhaps what we call "vacation" is more than a pause in our routines, more than thirty hours and 1900 miles on the road, more than a good time. These experiences add color and texture to our story lines and depth to our souls. Our small worlds suddenly expand with sun and sky, sea and sand. We hear the stories of those we love, and they nudge us to see broader and with deeper awareness and appreciation for all that comes our way.
And a deeper appreciation for life itself.