Small Sips

I thought 'Ahhhhh', but Riley suggested 'Zzzzzzz'. I'd say both would suffice in summing up our vacation. A week of sublime relaxation, peppered with delightful and refreshing naps. Nowhere to be, nothing to do. Our days melted into one another, one slow, languid moment to the next. The weather was stunning, blue skies, low humidity, hot sun, cooling breezes. The air, always tinted with a hint of the sea. The only rain, accompanied with some thunder and lighting, came early one morning, clearing out by the time we climbed out of bed. Perfection. 
Our home away from home

Dishwashing/ water station

Screen tent and bikes galore
Setting up camp is pretty routine for us. Cooking station, clothesline, coolers, screen tent. All necessities for a week in the woods. Camping season wasn't in full swing yet, so a fairly empty campground made for a quiet place to rest. With over 800 sites, the biking and walking loops are endless.
Biking is the girls favored mode of transportation. Often, they would collectively decide to head off and explore. It almost feels like we step back in time when we arrive at Burlingame. Cars move slowly, kids on bikes rule the roads. No worries, just carefree and simple. Must be what life was like in the 50's. :)


Immediately we had to scout around and make sure that all was well.  The camp store and playground were at the top of the list. As was the Rec Hall. As a teen this was my most favorite place to hang at any campground... cute boys were always a possibility. ;)
This is the first year we brought Willie with us, he was fantastic. He spent much of his time cheerfully sleeping in the dirt or curled up with us in the camper. As we were packing up and getting ready to leave on Sunday morning, he appeared severely depressed. He was lethargic, moping on the deck, no interest in anything. I guess he figured he was being left behind again, he'd seen this play out before. Imagine his delight when he got loaded into the car with the rest of our belongings!

Everyday found us reading in the sun, or in the camper. Those afternoon reading sessions most often led to... naps! I'd sit down, wide awake, comfortably settled in for a couple hours of reading. Before I knew it, my eyes were heavy, blinks became extremely long, and my only recourse was to put my head down and snooze. Really, I had no other option. ;) Scott came back from a hike one day to find Jordan, Riley and myself all sound asleep on our bed. It's amazing how refreshing a nap out in the fresh air can be!

Cooking is a bit more challenging, but I have perfected my 'kitchen area' and found it quite easy this year. We still ate our big meal at noon. Since I cooked, clean up fell to Scott and the girls.
We kept our three coolers well stocked with ice and managed to stretch our food for the week. Trail mix, dried and fresh fruit, banana cake... we found ways to snack and stay full all day long... which is a good thing since napping sure does make a body ravenous!

We avoid the beach during the heat of the day, and so after dinner each night, we head over to our favorite ~ Charlestown Beach. Still warm enough for the girls to swim, dogs are allowed on the beach and the nonexistent crowds make for lovely strolls along, kicking through the waves. Whether walking or playing, either way, the ocean worked its magic.

Upon our return from the beach each evening, a quick shower. 2 quarters bought you 3 minutes. It's amazing how fast you can get clean when the pressure is on!
The close of each day brought a bonfire... and popcorn! Taylor popped loads and loads before we left. Sitting up each night, long past our regular bedtimes, talking, laughing, reminiscing... it was a wonderful way to wrap up each glorious day.

I vowed to avoid these all week long, even if that meant a bike ride to the nearest 'real' bathroom. Way too many trips into these stinky, disgusting boxes when the girls were small and peeing every 30 seconds, never synchronized... or so it seemed. I am happy to say I was successful. Not a single porta-potty visit all week. :)

Birdsong was our alarm clock each morning. There was no rush to anything, no plans, no pressure, no electricity to shape our day. 2 days passed before I even thought to check my phone. Walking, snacking, biking, snacking, reading, napping, snacking...
I brought along 3 new books and choose the one that spoke to me first- Be Love Now by Ram Dass. It has opened new and joyful worlds in me, and I find my spiritual path once more opening and deepening. Where to next? I wonder, as I feel Spirit take my hand and lead me along. This way, this way, c'mon, it's gonna be so GREAT! it joyfully sings. Without question, I know that it will be.
Vacations are not always intended to be a refreshing drink of life. Many are full of plans, excursions, amazing sights to see. While these trips bring with them wonderful memories and joyful moments, they also tend to be very busy. I would strongly recommend a vacation of being. Just being. Being with yourself. Being with nature. Being with the silence. Being without obligation. Being without computers. Being without phones.
I have managed to bring the peace home with me, in fact I find myself moving very slowly and quietly. Yesterday morning I found myself lost in pleasure watching the chickens scratch and frolic in the dirt. A long and leisurely kayak ride with Scott and my dad took the place of chores and jobs to be done. I feel no pressure to jump back into life as it was, if anything there's an urge to clear even more of the excess... can I manage to simplify even more???
This life is so full of quiet abundance, such joy to be found in the silence. In the sun spilling across my feet. In the flow of pen on paper. In the slow savoring of delicious and nutritious foods. In the guiding wisdom of a book written just for you. In laughter ~ loud and unchecked. In slow and steady steps where each moment counts. In vacations Spirit created for the sole purpose of infusing your life with love, sometimes so intense tears spring to the eyes. Love from some inner, bottomless source so pure and undiluted it can only be taken is small sips lest we float away on the magic and power of it. But what would be wrong with that? Could we survive in a life brimming with that kind of love? It's true, we may forget to eat. Or sleep. Or breathe. But while we were there, it would be sublimely beautiful. Gloriously unforgettable. We may never come home...

Peace & blessings ~  Melinda