Less than a week ago we were eight hours from home vacationing on the shores of the Atlantic.
This morning I dropped my daughter at school for her first day of first grade. That means summer break is officially over at our house.
My brain and my body aren’t sure what to make of the rapid change of pace and scenery. I feel a bit like the rug (or beach towel) has been pulled out from beneath my sandy toes.
The go-go-go of our school and work routine is back in full swing, and my soul feels like it got lost somewhere between Maryland’s Coastal Highway and Ohio’s I-76.
The day we arrived at the beach, we trekked up over the sand dunes and at the first glimpse of the shore my daughter said “this feels like home.”
Indeed it does, darling.
This is the place where we return year after year to spend all of our waking hours just being together. A family with nothing on the agenda but playing together and making memories.
This is the place where we find rest and peace and feel small while standing near the Atlantic at sunrise.
And that always feel like home to me.
We know this place by heart and it comforts the soul so thoroughly. Even so, each year we try to stretch a bit and try something new. This year a new tradition (I can just tell it’s going to be a tradition) began exactly a week ago when I audaciously ate my to-go order of clams casino on the deck of the rooftop pool. Two days in a row. (The last two days of the trip, or I assure you it would have been more than two days in a row.)
Maybe that doesn’t read as excitement to many, but breaking out of my routine in even the smallest of ways can feel like dipping my toe into a sea of wild abandon. (I am nothing if not a creature of routine.) Scraping the idea that clams casino are reserved as an appetizer and not a pool-side snack feels a little like telling the world I don’t have to stick to your crazy limitations.
Then the vacation week comes to an end, and we are forced to pack up and head west. Back to our real home. It seems there’s always a longing for more time.
But perhaps adventuring where we’re comfortable and when the stakes aren’t high can bring us courage to step out boldly when it’s time to return to the unknown.
To the first day of first grade.
Today I leave the clams and the sand and the east coast sunrises behind as she starts a new adventure. And I do so knowing that we’re walking forward on a firm foundation of home, with a faith in the One who has no unknown, and hope in the truth that one day we will return permanently to our true, eternal home.