Tuesday, August 5, 2014

On Holiday

"It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top."
-- Virginia Woolf
Never is this quote more apt than when on vacation.  The long languid days of being "on holiday" gives one great stretches of time to think.  Before long, we find "our heads are on straighter" and cares and worries seem to loosen and unravel.  We can finally see clearly.
We spend so much time running around like bunnies...working, marketing, hunting, gathering.  We take care of others more than ourselves.  What does a parent need today?  Will my gown child's flight land safely and on time?  Where are my keys?  Vacations give us time to sort through the jetsam until the tipping point when we finally realize "I need to take better care of myself".  Only then do we reassess our priorities, find places where we can delegate, or ask for help.  The pattern of life, once compact, expands again.
I love this photo of a lovely Edwardian woman walking the boardwalk by the sea.  It reminds me of one of my favorite novels, "High Wages" by Dorothy Whipple.  The protagonist is invited on a sea holiday with her benefactress where she "ate caramels without pause" and "sniffed the sea air" and realized "that when one only has a holiday once in a while, each golden minute must be held and perfected before it is let go again". 
But how can we keep that fresh-from-vacation feeling as we re-enter everyday life? Here are my suggestions:
~ Keep flowers in the house to greet you when you turn the lock after your first day back to work
~ Keep reading.  Make time to explore the books you have.  I had forgotten how stress reducing it is to get lost in a well-written novel
~ Keep enjoying seasonal pleasures (native tomatoes, farmers' markets, mai-tai's on the porch in the evening, cooling baths with rose-infused bath aids
~ Keep making time for languishing in the backyard or on the front stoop after work
These sound so obvious...but let's try, shall we?


  1. Keeping the holiday spirit up after returning home is quite a challenge...I do like your thoughts on the subject.

  2. holding moments until they are perfected! what a beautiful way to live each moment! thank you for sharing donna. xo