Settling back in

The girls are back from a week away at camp. Every summer they spend a week at my mother’s home and they attend day camp at the wildlife sanctuary close by. They learn about the natural world, how to navigate in the woods and how to spot signs of animals living nearby, to name a few things. Each year they walk the same footpaths and in doing so they cement memories of the abandoned coyote den, the delicate turtle nests with eggs, and the little holes that are home to fiddler crabs. Memories that will guide them and shape them as they grow. They smell the air that is filled with sea salt and they’re warmed by sunlight filtering through the pine trees. They don’t know it, but they are spending a week enjoying just my kind of heaven.

The week flashed by for all of us. Though I missed them, I had things to do and I was certain I would accomplish all on My List and have time to relax and reconnect with all that is meaningful in life. It was going to be wonderful. Uh-Huh. Well, I got almost nothing finished and I can’t say I relaxed enough to feel energized. None of this is surprising, actually.

Picking up the girls, being back on the Cape, seeing their camp through their eyes and talking with my mother was a treat, the perfect way to round out a week full of high expectations. I often return from the Cape feeling invigorated and ready for what lies ahead. I didn’t come home with that infectious attitude this time. I haven’t been allowing myself the space I need to breathe and think and feel. It’s all about clearing the schedule a little more, adding fewer lines to the To Do List, looking at the world through fewer apps, making time to be spontaneous and flexible, loving what is happening Right Now, looking deeper simply because it’s possible to, and always taking a breathless moment to give thanks for the wonder of the natural world.

And because I’m a mom, I have to figure out how to do all of that while the laundry is in the wash, the children are eating breakfast, the electric bill is being paid, and the library books are being rounded up for return. Hopefully there is gas in the car so we can get there.

I walk this line, which is HARD for me because I am such an idealist, between reality and … hope/inspiration/possibilities/my future. Hard for me to stay on the line, that is, and not fall away from the reality side. The only way to make it comfortable is to have a lot of free time for dreaming. Free time for dreaming leads to planning my dreams, which leads to happiness and comfort. Too much daily grind weighs it all down and makes it hard for me to see the big picture so I know where I’m going.

Like I said, I need more free time, less To Do List.

My camera was busy this weekend! The photos are too numerous to post – see my flickr set for more Cape Love.


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