I am happily writing to you from my desk at home. I slept in my own damn bed. I ate my own damn food. I love vacations, but I also love coming home.
My summer break was different from those of my childhood - less time lying in a patch of clover eyes scanning for the elusive four-leafed sort, more time spent in over-air conditioned restaurants and cafes. Less time spent working on my tan and more time spent layering on the sunblock on me, my kid, and my husband. Less friend drama. Quite a bit of friend making - that part was like the summer days of my childhood.
Also like childhood, I learned new skills. Somatic Experiencing (SE) Intermediate II felt nothing like camp, hosted in a very beige conference room - but I learned a lot. On the other hand, Narrative Healing at Kripalu felt very much like camp and I learned a ton there too. I will be bringing tools from both SE and Narrative Healing to my work with clients.
At camp, I always made a lot of art to share with the world outside of camp when I returned home. To this day I have my photography portfolio from a summer spent in Maine. This summer I got my creative juices going, at Kripalu. I wrote a cento - a poem style that I liken to collage - and I wrote this essay, Desperately Seeking Boredom, which has become recommended reading in the Lifestyle and Writing columns on Medium.
I even spent time laying in a patch of clover which is how I became inspired to write Desperately Seeking Boredom. I did not find a four-leaf clover while I sat there, resisting the urge to pluck clover and blades of grass, but I did make a friend.
Unlike my childhood summers I spent a lot of time watching my own adolescent kiddo enjoy her summer break. During our family trip, I watched her make stuff and meet people and learn new skills. I hugged her and kissed the top of her head and smelled the commingled scents of sunblock, sweat, and detergent. When I was her age, summer love smelled like sweat, yes, but it commingled with whatever drugstore cologne was favored by adolescent boys in the late 80s and early 90s. But now, as a mother who is so in love with and proud of her daughter, I inhale deeply because that is what summer love has come to smell like.
The shape of summer break may have changed as I have grown older but the spirit remains the same - ample time to play, learn, and to simply sit with love.