Part of the stage of life we're at right now is that we rarely take a holiday with just us...
The only night Neil & i have been on our own away from children in the past 15 years is the night i started to miscarry baby hope... i dyed my hair brown in a hotel bathroom and cried myself to sleep. It's not really the romantic get away memory that one would want to carry... but it's mine.
Our family holidays usually entail visiting family - which is great - but i find i come home for holidays hungrier for Neil than ever. Often leisure time is split - men doing one thing - women & children another - so i find "holidays" often = single parenting...
On this set of days away, we got 1 day. It's my favourite day. It was *our* day.
Neil had booked a room at this out of the way resort on the ocean - in Washington. i had no idea where we were going - & we ended up driving down a thickly treed road for hours to get to our destination. The little ones watched a movie in the back and i propped my feet up on the dash and kept Neil company as he drove.
Suddenly - the trees finally parted - and my heart leaped to my throat. i sat up straighter in my seat, scrambling to see a little clearer - drink a little deeper.
There was a cry from the back seat as the little ones caught sight of the wonders outside - and the movie was immediately silenced. Voices soon broke into a spontaneous cheer for the beauty - and the daddy that brought them to it.
"i'm gonna cry..." Mollen murmered from the backseat... and i thought i was too.
You see, i have been struggling lately. i don't love writing about struggling, but there it is. i have been blue - confused - feeling a little crazy... teetering more than i'm comfortable with - & suddenly here i was... immersed in more beauty than i could take in at a glance.
i felt like a starving man - who is so frail that it takes care and broth to revive him...
And how is it that i come to feel so starved?
Me, whose life is abounding in beauty - loved, and giving love - embraced, a part, found? Could it be that i had refused to partake?
& so i sipped my broth - i let the tears come... i slumped against my door and drank in the richness of God's creation.
We pulled up to our accomodations - and finding a kingdom in our ancient abode, we left our belongings and flew to the beach - drawn.
Isn't it interesting how we're drawn to beauty? What did He put in us that draws us like a magnet to aching melodies - to richly coloured sunsets - to scents that feed us?
Amidst this - Cai and i wondered - would you become a better writer? A better artist? A better human being? How could you not?
And my children scattered on that unpopulated beach - with the wind ripping our hair - and the roar of the surf dulling their cries of delight.
& seeing my baby son throw up his arms - and dance - i couldn't help but do the same.
Too tired and full of sadness to care if i looked foolish.
Is this how you want me, Father? Laid bare? Dependent? Broken?
& my arms reached to Him - the salty air filling my lungs.
20 hours later - we reluctantly gathered our things into the silver fox, and followed that heavily wooded road away....
was our holyday.