Jul 2, 201208:26 AMPlain Jane
Because Moms Can't Be Afraid to Tell it Like it is
Anne Morrow Lindbergh is one of my favorite authors. Her words are so pure and stark and so entirely human that I almost can't breathe when I read them. So it's not surprising that a quote of hers crossed my mind as I packed for our annual summer vacation. She wrote in Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead (1929-1932), "Is there anything as horrible as starting on a trip? Once you’re off, that’s all right, but the last moments are earthquake and convulsion, and the feeling that you are a snail being pulled off your rock.”
She is preaching to the choir!
All the laundry that has to be done—the packing, the planning and the general anxiety that precedes each journey makes me secretly wish I were agoraphobic (then I would have a psychiatric excuse to never leave my house). Unfortunately, I have not achieved that level of crazy yet. So here I am, doing all of those earthquake-like things:
No one has enough underwear to last them through our entire vacation. Off to Walmart.
- Last year's swim goggles and sunglasses are smashed to pieces at the bottom of the beach bag. Back to Walmart.
- Just found out the new bottle of sunscreen I bought last week is loaded with toxic chemicals and carcinogens. Get in the car kids.
- Every inflatable beach toy we own has a hole in it and our new Igloo cooler leaks like a sieve. Grrrrrr.
I am now clinging to my little rock with the fury of a thousand snails! They can't make me go on vacation, can they?
But then I remember something else Lindbergh wrote, “It is strange, but the minute I got on the train and left I felt utterly different. I think one’s feelings and thoughts, the real true deep ones, are better focused when you get away because they are detached from their stale associations: one’s desk and room and bed and mirror. They become clear and just themselves, the way colors of a sunset or a birch grove seen upside down become clearer, because the colors are disassociated from their familiar forms. Do you see what I mean?”
Yes, Anne, I see. And I sure hope that's what happens to me when we leave. Till then I'll be convulsing at home—waist-deep in laundry—trying to think of a way to get out of going.