September 24, 2008

What is ‘vacation’?   For me it is emptying my mind of all the everyday demands and experiencing life afresh.

I stayed for a week at a house on a natural reserve not far away. I had my own very simple room and could choose whether to withdraw there in solitude or join other guests in the lounge or kitchen.

Besides the quiet, the beautiful surroundings, and perfect weather, it was this choice to socialize that I enjoyed most. After a day spent in almost hypnotic silence cycling or walking through and paths and trees, pastures and along canals, through sleepy villages and occasional towns, I treasured human company when I returned. The communal kitchen was the heart of the house; you could always find someone there to chat with and perhaps share a meal with. 

It was wonderful to cycle for the pleasure of it, to walk for the rhythm and healing of it, to do things for themselves and not because they could be used to attain something else.  The purity of that life reminded me of how things were very early in my career when work and reward for it came naturally and flowed out of who and where I was.

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