After Some Time Away


"And then, some morning in the second week, the mind wakes, comes to life again. Not in a city sense—no—but beach-wise. It begins to drift, to play, to turn over in gentle careless rolls like those lazy waves on the beach. One never knows what chance treasures these easy unconscious rollers may toss up, on the smooth white sand of the conscious mind; what perfectly rounded stone, what rare shell from the ocean floor. Perhaps a channeled whelk, a moon shell, or even an argonaut.”

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

September 1, 2013: September rather than January still feels like the beginning of the year. New Year's Day can seem like an artificial marker right there in the middle of winter, but September, when school starts and hot August air is gone before we know it, now that is the time for a fresh start. Facing September's promise, Labor Day weekend is an ending, every time, the last remaining sliver of a spectacular season. On Friday night, the fireworks show at Nationals Park was audible from the apartment, as if to remind us of this grand finale.

With routine waiting up ahead, I tried to spend much of August away. Not just away geographically, but away from to-do lists, away from a self-imposed pressure to feed my blog, away from the worries that wedge their way into a typical day. In Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes that when we take time to get away, "the tired body takes over completely." "Rollers on the beach, wind in the pines, the slow flapping of herons across sand dunes, drown out the hectic rhythms of city and suburb, time tables and schedules," she writes. A few weeks later, she says, the mind awakes with a newfound clarity, a relaxed, recharged and beachy clarity that's different from the focus we experience back in our daily routines.

I strive to be away like that, and hope you found some time this summer to get there, too. Do you agree that it takes more effort to get away than it used to? For as much as I travel, I've noticed I'm not always good at truly getting away. It seems more difficult these days with a smart phone. It takes some patience and practice.

Did you get away this summer? Do you feel well-rested and ready for September? Do you find it more challenging to get away than you used to? Is getting away imperative before autumn comes and it's time to get back in the groove? 

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