The first vacation I remember happened around 1963, in Pittsfield, Massachussetts. It was the time my dad showed us the stars, pointing out, and naming the constellations like they were old family friends. Under the inky-black night canopy we watched ECHO-1, the helium filled American response to Sputnik, traverse silently overhead.
On holiday, no matter where we go as a family, or don’t go, I think, regardless of the actual destination, I am still seeking to find the spots and experiences of my childhood. Thus with my own kids I have tried to recapture and re-create the wonder of the new and different — irresistable proof that beyond the ordinary and mundane, life is a gift, a panic, a thrill.
Apart from sensory encounters not appropriate to fully unfold on a public website, what beats the fearsome rush of lying prone, facing the shore and suddenly being lifted high under the welling power of a massive Atlantic Ocean wave?
What can surpass the terror of hurtling headlong in the front car down a rattling old-fashioned roller coaster?
How is it that a man about to exceed 51 years of age STILL remembers the hole-in-one on the 18th “fairway” of the Point Pleasant Arnold Palmer Miniature Golf Course, securing a free game that we didn’t have time to stay for?
Ah yes, now I know why, in the Third Commandment (or the Fourth, depending on how you divvy them up) God requires that we take time off! Imagine, a Lord Who demands rest!
Why? I think because in days characterized by sandy-laced sandwiches and clothing we wouldn’t be seen dead in during the rest of the year, we come to find who we really are, beyond what the world says we have to be.
In our recreation, we are indeed, re-made and renewed. Perchance to rekindle, not what was, but the promise of what will be.