Summertime and summer vacations, they are here, and they are thriving!
My husband, kids and I just returned from a week away at a friend’s cottage in Sauble Beach here in Ontario. Where my summer Sauble love comes from. Can you believe I’ve been parking my beach towel on the same stretch of beach there for 39+ years! (Am I that old?? haha).
I can honestly say some of my happiest childhood memories were made on that very sand, in that very refreshing lake, on those hot summer days.
It gives me so much happiness that my children get to experience much of what I experienced all those summers. It gives me butterflies that they get to feel their own deep sense of enjoyment that comes from frolicking on a beautiful beach, and most importantly, they witness their parents slow down to a leisurely pace, laughing and relaxing together.
Instead of being inside watching TV, playing video games or mindlessly scrolling through social media posts, we play card games, our cell phones are on silent, and all of us take quiet strolls together with connected conversation. We often sit outside to witness the nature that surrounds us and observe the comedic antics of animals bopping around. A chipmunk stealthily steals a peanut off the deck just as a Blue Jay swoops in to make the catch, or a Seagull boldly grabs a bag of chips right off of someone’s beach blanket.
Yet, everything I mentioned above, every single seemingly insignificant moment is either missed or taken for granted in our everyday life. Especially with the fast-and- frenzied pace of non-vacation life. Oh and the bliss that comes from connecting, and laughing and relaxing, and being. How easy bliss can fade when we’re back to regular life.
Each and every summer, as we say our final goodbye to Sauble Beach for another year and start our drive home, I feel very emotional and often cry. I used to have a hard time trying to explain to my concerned husband why I was crying, just that I was feeling sad to be leaving. Although, when I really think about it, the feeling is always a deeper sadness, almost a heartache.
This year though, I didn’t cry! But I believe I know why.
This time, I had a deeper awareness and understanding.
I completely recognized the feeling of deep sadness that always wells up in me as a result of the disconnect between what my heart and soul really wants. Which is to feel and be: peace, connection, calmness, love, lightheartedness and present. I always have the mental recognition that it’s more challenging to tap into those feelings and ways of being when I return home to my busy life and busy household.
So there it was. Right in my face.
It was like I went through stages. First, I had an awareness of my sadness. Then I had recognition of the sadness, and finally, I had an understanding as to why I felt sad. I was, then, able to consciously identify the exact feelings or states that felt good and right, and what was in alignment with the true nature of my soul.
I also recognized that I didn’t have to be on vacation or at a beach to be able to access these ways of being. The peace, connection, calmness, love, lightheartedness, and being present. It would just take a bit more mindfulness, maybe even, more stillness and lots of patience, on my part.
So, as I continue to love going to Sauble Beach, and will hopefully bask in the beautiful summer sunshine with my family until I’m old and gray, I will not despair when it’s time to leave again, because I know that all the wonderful gifts it has given me are still available to me anywhere and anytime.
I just have to be open to receive them and share them with the ones I love.