The first of my trips was this week... three days with Beloved where we didn't have to do anything except drive and be together in the location of our choice, a very cool town where were were among Our People. I can hardly describe it, this opportunity to just be.
For one thing we slept. We slept and slept. I think I go through life sleep-deprived, and when I don't need to answer to an alarm, my body takes over and I crave sleep the way the addict longs for her heroin. We never rose until nearly 11 both mornings we were away, and it was absolutely the tonic we both needed.
For another thing, we allowed ourselves the luxury of spontaneity. We were near a college with a famous art collection. Over our very late breakfast we decided to walk there... a glorious summer walk through a beautiful landscape, to see fantastic, thought-provoking art. Later we saw a movie theater offering an Antonioni and Bergman retrospective, so we lined up with all the other acolytes to worship at that curious and disturbing shrine. We spent what felt like hours in a cafe, reading to one another from the New York Times.
Home, too soon, but I was so happy to see my daughter. (Son is off to college... already!). And work beckoned... a visit with an ill parishioner, another visit with one who has had joint replacement surgery, a prickly man who for the first time talked with me about matters of substance, life and death and grief. Good, good work, following my good, good time of renewal and reconnection.