Post vacation blues are real but there's a funny antithesis to them as well- a reacquainting with the norm. When you've been gone awhile and return home, familiar things are ripe with temporary novelty. Your car feels different when you first get in, especially if you've been driving another. Suddenly you appreciate the lighting of your home, how 7am feels different than it did in another place. Your space, and in ways your life, persist without your presence and feel oddly new upon return.
Yet these feelings are as fleeting as vacation. Somehow we default back to chugging along mostly unconscious of the bounty of "normal." Novelty is so frustratingly fickle and fragile and yet its opposing force of complacency is the silent killer of all good things, somehow managing to conquer our psyches again and again.
We shouldn't need bad things to happen to rattle us into gratitude and exultation for what we have. Finding wonder in our lives without being provoked by physical or existential threat can be oddly difficult. It's a gift to be able to look at our lives and surroundings with fresh eyes. This is so true of our relationships as well. Complacency is often at the root of separation between people who mistakenly think they know all there is to know of one another.
I was lucky enough to relish in that particular feeling of returning home this week after a trip to Nevada to see my Dad. It had been a very long year since our last reunion at the onset of the pandemic. I missed him terribly and really wouldn't have flown for any reason other than to see him. I didn't get nearly enough time with my Dad growing up, but now he's one of my best friends and the person I most love to spend time with outdoors.
It's especially nourishing for me to spend time with him as my relationship with my Mom remains so incredibly difficult and distant. The strain of the schism between us has not gotten easier. This is an emotional time of year in general as we approach the anniversary of Lauren's death. She is a constant presence in my mind and I grieve the absence of her wit and love fiercely.
I'm grateful for the forces of nature and community to push the pieces of my heart together so they don't crumble. Thank you, Spring, for the blooms and accompanying hope for newness in a cycle as old as time.
Well, friends. I feel a bit sheepish returning to this blog after such a long absence, but I have many more photos to share from Nevada, and as always thoughts that need processing. See you soon I hope. With fresh eyes.
Sometimes I need
only to stand
where I am
to be blessed
*All photos from the two days we spent in Valley of Fire State Park. A dream of a place painted with a pastel palette by the Universe itself*