We had a family vacation in Hilton Head and it was more family than had been together in a long, long time. In addition to being with all my daughters and families, I got to be with both of my brothers, their daughters and family, Brett's dad and step mom and my cousin. There were 26 of us in all and it was - for me - the best vscation ever.
I savor the memories
- Of seeing Chuck in the water floating on a noodle EVERY day
- of watching all the grandchildren in the water and pool just playing and laughing together
- Playing "Splendor" (a new and fun game) EVERY day with Audrey and my niece Gillian and her friends
- Of gathering every day under Brett's dad's tent and visiting with everyone
- of a fun and funny family talent show that ended my niece Hannah reading the first chapter of her soon to be published book Home Field
- Of sharing coffee in the morning and wine in the evening on the balcony with my brother Geoff and Vicky
- Of lunches out with daughters and husband and grandchildren
- of just being in a place of beauty and seeing the wonder of sand and sea and pelicans and gulls and loving it all.
But I come back happy to see Ginger and to re engage with the responsibilities and the reality of my life. I continue to be part of a "Pilgrimage" group that meets weekly as we read through The Soul of a Pilgrim. It speaks volumes to me about the lessons of receiving the gifts that God has for us.
And the receiving is big things - like a long awaited and planned vacation - but also little things like the flowers in my front yard and a friend that calls and invites me to walk in the woods. My hope always is that I am - finally - starting to wake up and see and receive this abundant life.
Here is a prayer/poem from the book that speaks to me.
Give up your endless searching
Lay down your map and compass,
And those dog-eared travel guides.
Rest your weary eyes from so much looking,
Your tired feet from so much wandering,
Your aching heart from so much hoping.
Lay down on the soft green grass
Wet with morning dew, and watch as
The tree heavy with pendulous pears
Bends her long branches toward you,
Offering you perfection in every sweet bite.
Give up the weight of knowing,
For the reverence of quiet attention
And curiosity, for the delight of
Juice that runs in generous streams
Down your chin.
From The Soul of a Pilgrim
By Christine Valters Paintner