Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Last Cup of Vacation

When the last full day of vacation rolls around, you usually have to spend that day preparing for it. Which we did a little bit.

But not the usual way.

There is a ceremony at the end of Shabbat where you light a candle and sing a song and pass a beautiful spice box around the room and everyone inhales deeply. The Sabbath is separated from the rest of the week by the lighting of candles. It is the sanctification of Time, which is a very odd concept, since most religions sanctify people, or things, or and mark that sanctification with Time.

The idea behind the spices ( called besamin) is that the Sabbath is fragrant and sweet and invisible, like scent. So when we inhale the scent of the spices it is to have a sense memory that we can reach for to keep a little of the Peace and sanctified Time with us during the rest of the week. This ritual which is done at home is called Havdallah

So our last full day of Vacation we treated like a Havdallah for the Vacation. We came to find peace and separate ourselves from our workdays and learn to see with different eyes.

We took our different eyes out for a hike to the observation point.

We walked along the road that was next to the beach to start. It's New England, it's not a commercial beach and it's not the same as California beaches or southern beaches. It's beach then forest. I wonder if it's a little like Ireland.

It's the way I grew up expecting beaches to be. It's the type of shore in Poe's Annabel Lee. I know most people like Caribbean beaches, they are beautiful and warmer but there is so much beauty and variety of color here where no one is allowed to touch it and make it something to sell.
Poppets are way too short to see this view. However, poppets have a great deal of color on the beach at their own level.

We walked along the beach and studied and enjoyed the passage of time. It was clear and crisp, a beach day for hard work and sailing.
A day to breathe in scents to keep when you are back in the work year to remember that time can run at different paces.

A scent to remember when you walk the same beach next year and see the same scene, but the young man will be a different height, and a slightly different person, and you will be too. But the scent will be the same, and the dog will still be there waiting for The Boy to throw the ball into the ocean before we are permitted to continue on our way.

And slowly, the walk turns from beach into the houses at the outskirts of the beach, and then again into forest. This is what our different eyes can see on one side of the observation post.

And this is what they can see on the other:

Strange things grow in the forest.

There are wonders if you look at all the levels

And on the way back you can stop and look closely at the things you noted on your way, and think about the difference between the forest and the beach. Between the vacation and the work year, between one decade and the next.

And then you can think about the difference between the land and the sea, and celebrate them by submersing yourself in both, and if you are really, really lucky the clouds will part on your havdallah day of vacation and you will see your Very Dearest Friend and the dog in blue sky an illuminated cloud and consider yourself lucky for all of it, because you get to breathe it in with the scent and hold on to it when you get home.

And then, in the lunar calendar the day ends with sundown. Unhurriedly you prepare for the trip home on wheels and gears and electricity, and with the morning light you and the Coffee Poppets perform the real, final closing ritual of Vacation.

Good to the last cup.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

***sigh*** Simply lovely!