... from my blog, from my writing, from community service and lists and cleaning house, from life as I know it on a regular basis.....
That's what I have been up to the past month. Taking a break....in France... sinking into Paris first, then Provence .... the croissants, the streets, the small quaint towns, the markets, the history, the grapes, the people, the olives, the beauty.
I had a long list of must-sees and wanna-dos when I left. My Rick Steves' and Lonely Planet books were labeled, highlighted and packed.
Many of the Do's and See's got done, but there were delightful afternoons and slow mornings where we didn't hurry to the next thing on the list, not because we were tired or the place was closed or under repair but because sitting and talking, looking at the French countryside, lingering over our plat du jour at lunch, or reading the great books we had brought along trumped our tourist list.
On this vacation to a new place... I took a break. The fill-me-up, breath-in-and-out, look-and-smell-and-wonder kind of break. The kind of break where we saw and did but also where we allowed ourselves time to wonder about the country we were experiencing, its people and culture and government, how our history has overlapped with theirs, what the future might hold, what we could take home from their ways and perspectives to make our lives richer.
The last leg of our journey took us to the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France. After a swim in that warm water, I spotted this boy reading on the sea wall below me.
This scene on the last full day of our trip reminded me of my blog and my writing and my passions for kids and reading waiting back home. I snapped his picture to use for a future blog post with a message perhaps about reading and kid lit the world over.
But once back home when the pace immediately quickened and the loaded calendar of events beckoned, and I saw my wonderful grandchildren again, this picture held a different message. I started wondering about break-taking. The need to be intentional about creating and taking breaks .... little simple ones .... here at home.
Are we allowing ourselves enough time for breaks? And are we encouraging our children to take them too .... the fill-me-up, breath-in-and-out, look-and-smell-and wonder kind? I hope so.