On the Cusp of a Vacation: Everyday Magic, Day 873

The bed is covered in piles of clothes, the hungry suitcases are chomping at the bit, and I’m eager to clean out the car. There’s something immensely satisfying loading a little car with everything from winter coats (never know — it could be snowing on the top of a mountain we’re exploring) to trail mix. Conversely, unloading that car in 10 days isn’t quite the same, but then it’s wonderful to be with cats and dog, birds and changing leaves, and back in our own bed.

As someone who loves planning, often more than what happens after the planning, I’m looking toward cultivating a vacation mindset as soon as we hit I-70. The funny thing about planning a vacation is that when I think I’m going to go out of my mind unless I take a real break from things, planning is a kind of nirvana wishing ground. Then, in peaceful stretches like this one — right before leaving — I realize that while I’m thrilled to be exploring, I’m fine with being here to catch the monarchs starting to come through and the hummingbirds still at the feeders. Those two so-human impulses — the call of the open road, and the song of home — play simultaneously, two radio stations that sometimes harmonize in the distance.

At the same time, adventure and homecoming are two sides of the same falling leaf. I think of this especially when seeing the full moon rise, which will be tonight, and remembering how a friend once told me if I look at the full moon when he’s looking at the full moon, we’ll be connected in our gazing. So wherever the moon is, there we all are! Home beats in the center of our chests and can surround us, a cloak of shelter, wherever we are.

So it’s off to stuff things into suitcases and podcasts onto the iphone as I slide toward leaving tomorrow, and getting things ready for our housesitter and animals.  Yet just like the title of one of Ursula LeGuin’s marvelous novels, I know we’re also Always Coming Home. I wish everyone joy in travel, and in the landing in your own bed again.

2 thoughts on “On the Cusp of a Vacation: Everyday Magic, Day 873

  1. Joan Vibert says:

    God, I so love this and I could have written it. I love, love the planning and thoughts of traveling and I love the traveling. But when it comes time to actually leave I am so reluctant and always have tears in my eyes as we roll down the driveway, the dogs eyes following us with that forever look. Thirty minute into the trip I’m usually okay. Once when we took our newly acquired motorhome to Maine it took me most of the first day to not want to turn back. You nailed it!

  2. poetofacertainage says:

    Safe travels. Pat and I took a trip to Waterloo, Iowa, to visit his family this summer. He’s gone by himself in the past, but this year I went with him. We had a wonderful time and they want me–and him–to come back next summer. We took our little dog with us and stopped at several rest stops along the way. She enjoyed visiting Pat’s sister’s dogs. Our neighbor came over several times a day to check on the old collie. I know she got lonely without us, but she was fine when we got home.

    I enjoyed seeing kids who were children the last time I saw them and are now fine adults. I drove the nine hours up there and back. Pat likes to talk and look at the sights. I like to drive and keep my eyes on the road. He did help navigate through Kansas City and Des Moines.

    I’m not as crazy about traveling as I used to be–sitting in a car or an airplane can be torture–but I did enjoy this trip.

    Have fun.

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