Many of you know my husband Dave and I took a vacation to England in September. It was our second trip there in a 16-month period, lucky ducks we are.
Whenever I get back from a whirlwind vacation, I think of blogging about it, but it just feels like too much work. Too much to document and I always wonder if I’ll remember everything or bore everyone, or both. So I decide not to write about it at all.
But today I wanted to talk about the little moments of this vacation that pop into my head when my life is spinning, when people are getting on my last nerve, when I need to fling myself back there. Back there to those moments when I was completely content. Back there when I wasn’t thinking of the hundreds of emails that were invading my Inbox. Back there where time stood still. Where the memory is savored and burned. Burned into my memory so I can pull it out whenever I need to save myself from whatever crisis is whirling around me.
I escape to a few moments, a few simple moments.
The first happened the morning I woke up after our friends’ wedding. Mo and Babs (pictured above) were married on September 20th and we celebrated with them at Babs’ brother’s house in the countryside. They graciously hosted us for the night in their home and when I awoke to pure silence, I glanced out the bedroom window and saw a weather vane turning slowly in a gentle breeze.
I watched it turn for perhaps ten minutes, thinking “I’m so unbelievably relaxed and happy. I want to stay here forever. I want to pull up stakes and move over here. I want this life.”
After Dave and I rustled ourselves awake and headed downstairs for breakfast, our hosts made me a cup of coffee and I went outside to enjoy some fresh morning air. The last time we’d been to England, it was classically cold, rainy and miserable. But not this time.
It was sunny and dry and warm and lovely. And my view was stunning. It was still and quiet, save for a few crows screaming through the sky.
Me and my English coffee, in the sun on a rock wall. A few minutes of escape. Burn it in, Kathy. Burn it in.
The other moment I still relish is from a visit we made to Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield, where Babs’ brother and wife live.
It’s a small park packed with miniature estates, shops, docks and bridges. The Queen used to go there as a child, don’t ya know. Cutest little place, perfect for strolling with old friends and new. We spent a couple hours here.
At one point, I stopped on a bridge to watch tiny boats full of tiny people pass under me. The sun felt so warm. So enriching. So filling. Drink it up, Kathy. Drink it up.
My husband came over and asked “What’cha thinkin’ about?” I told him “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” I was in some kind of happy bubble that enveloped me, where no bad thoughts could enter. No stress. No worries. Just sun and warmth and glee.
“I don’t want this to end,” I said. “I need this for later when we go back. For when we work again, pay bills again, clean cat litter boxes again and I can’t stand it.”
And so I use it whenever I need to. Every other day now. I tap into my memory burn and recall how happy that trip made me, the trip with our good friends, where everything went right this time.
Stress pounds rudely on the door these days, sure. But I don’t answer. Get out, you fool! You don’t belong here! And I think of the weather vane, turning slow slow slow while I crept out of sleep. The coffee I sipped in the morning sun with an impossibly perfect view. And the little village that got me to let it go. Let it all go, if only for a moment.
Yes, we saw all the touristy things in London, ate well, played well, vacationed well. But it wasn’t what we saw that remains with us. It’s what we felt. We packed it all up in our suitcase brains and unpack it whenever the need for it calls.
Kathy, remember? Do you remember the little things?
Yes, yes I do.
So what’s in your memory burn?