My family just had a beautiful exercise in planning ahead and being completely present simultaneously. We recently returned from our first European vacation. I wistfully observed us as a family and wished we could always operate in this balanced state of valuing each day.
One afternoon as we boarded a ferry in Greece, my younger daughter asked, “How long is the ferry ride?”
I answered, “Three hours,” expecting a moan of frustration when she learned what was between her and the next destination.
To my surprise she replied, “Oh good! I just love to just sit and do nothing.” At that point we had nowhere else to go, yet we were still on our journey. She has always been one of my greatest teachers.
When we arrived in Santorini, we found one of the most magical places on earth. Do add it to your bucket list! This crescent shaped Greek island was born from a gigantic volcanic eruption that left only a massive rim jetting up from the sea. As you climb from the port to the highest tips of the towns, you ascend into the clouds. We stepped through the gate of our hotel, and immediately were on the cliff’s edge. We felt this dense peace, looked down at the silent sparkling sea miles below, and for a brief moment believed we were in heaven.
Heaven has varied and arguable definitions, but in Santorini, it’s undeniable. You have to catch your breath. It’s the inhale you forgot to take when your eyes first cast out onto the expansive horizon far below against the sheer cliffs ripped into indescribable form.
You quiet to whispers. And your brain . . . well, it rests. There is nowhere else to go.
For two sweet days we experienced this pure peace that entered into our cells, creating expansiveness within us as infinite as our view.
I'm back now, without the view, but with new resolve to hold my gaze. Summer has these moments for each of us: time in the sweetness of nature; in a vacation destination never seen before, or in a well-loved familiar spot to soak in the long sunlit days. Daily life is also full of points in time when we are meant to sit still in between destinations. May you find heaven in these moments. May they teach you how to live in peace, being fully present, without striving or planning. May you feel whole and know that you can rest . . . you have arrived . . . that there is no where else to go.