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Of bath tubs in the snow, long nights of scotch, and the wonders of taking a breath: My week in VT

Jan. 10th, 2013 | 10:31 pm
mood: contemplativecontemplative
music: Azure Ray, "Sleep"

Every year the family takes a vacation up to central VT right after the new year. It is strange and contra-intuitive tradition but one of the best we have. While I love the holiday season, and Christmas is my favorite season of the three high seasons, after all is said and done I need a break. I need to not be planning, baking, cooking, meeting, laughing, greeting, going, seeing, or doing. I just need to be.

So we drive past nowhere and take a left to a cabin at the edge of a pine forest. It's a cabin in all the right ways, not overwhelming but still spacious and with views out almost every window of the Green Mountains. I sat on the sofa for an hour today and watched the sun and clouds play shadow games over foot hills and mountain peaks.

It is restful to be away from the city. Even when I don't pay attention to it, I can still feel the buzz of the city vibrating under my skin, making my brain keep wanting to turn to keep up with the never-ending pace. But out here, in the middle of nowhere, it's just me and the wind whistling past, creaking the beams over my head in the middle of the night and making me cuddle even further down into the flannel sheets.

Part of me loves it out here. I sometimes wonder if I could make it full time outside of the city. There is something in the simplicity, not simplistic that has always drawn me to the outside edges. I know that the hamster wheel does not lead forward and that the most important things in life are not measured by meaningless titles.

One of my favorite things to do here is take a bath. No quick 10 minute city shower here. I turn the hot water way up and sink down into the tub, till my face is parallel with the water, just my eyes and nose above the surface. And I just breathe. Sometimes I stare out the skylight above me that is edged in snow and marvel at how any sky could be that bright blue. I stay submerged for an hour at least, until my skin is so wrinkled that the towel bunches itself in my hands.

It's sometimes the hardest thing to do to be gentle with myself. I know everyone does the comparison game, but still it can be frustrating to feel like I am standing still while everyone else is running around the bend. Sitting here I look back at the past year and I don't see any major goals accomplished. But nothing major has fallen apart. The center has held, despite all the crazy that has slammed against it. I am doing the best I can with what I have been given. I will improve on what I can, but I must count the victories, each and every one, even if no one else sees them.

My brother commented that I seemed to be handling the stress better. And in a weird way I think it is because of this. I have let go of trying to make sense to the outside world. I have let go of the expectations of what my life is supposed to be and I am trying to live the life I have. I sometimes wonder what it's going to feel like when things do calm down, when I don't have to have at least three back up plans every week for all the things that could go wrong. Will I even know what to do with all that extra brain space;)

Right now, I am taking a break from packing up. It's strange to see all our little bags littering the counters in preparation for our early morning departure. Tomorrow I return back to my life with its deadlines and expectations and people who need things from me and people who are supposed to have things ready for me.

I wish I could I blog and respond to y'all more, and maybe I will this year. I miss the conversations. Know that I pretty much read everything that you post. And I hopeful that in a month or two I will have some very positive news to share with you.

And even if those don't come through, it's going to be okay. Out here in VT, I can see that. Life is good if I just stop and look at it every once in a while. I wish you a year full of peace, joy, and love.

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