We’ve been in the California for the month of August. I haven’t spent this long in the US since before we moved to England, nine years ago. Unlike most of our other trips to the States, we haven’t been racing around visiting family and friends. With the exception of a trip I took with the kids to New Mexico to see my family, we’ve stayed in Santa Barbara, as my husband is here on an extended workshop at the university. In many ways, it has felt like a quiet month. Time away from the usual rhythms and patterns of our full lives in the UK.
Sure there have been a lot of adventures and outings: We went to the Channel Islands! We hiked up Rattlesnake Canyon! We play at the beach! We saw the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona! We watched the sunset from the top of Sandia Peak! I could go on and on. Time spent outside in the wide open spaces of the western US refills every reservoir that runs low when I am away from these landscapes.
But for me, the tone of the month has been quiet. I think what I mean is that by stepping away from my multi-faceted roles in Cambridge, I have found a brief respite from the tug and push and pull of all those projects. I can stand back and look at the lives we are creating, see how we are filling them with passions and growth. It’s all a matter of perspective. I get to see the forest for the trees.
When we return to the UK, the academic year will start rolling, picking up a momentum and shape of its own. We’ll find our ways back into school, work, music lessons, activities, committee work, etc, etc. But for now, for one more week, I’ll relish these quieter mornings with a relatively uncluttered desk and time to write, play, and be outside.