Back From Vacation

“Back from vacation”, the barber announces,
or the postman, or the girl at the drugstore, now tan.
They are amazed to find the workaday world
still in place, their absence having slipped no cogs,
their customers having hardly missed them, and
there being so sparse an audience to tell of the wonders,
the pyramids they have seen, the silken warm seas,
the nighttimes of marimbas, the purchases achieved
in foreign languages, the beggars, the flies,
the hotel luxury, the grandeur of marble cities.
But at Customs the humdrum pressed its claims.
Gray days clicked shut around them; the yoke still fit,
warm as if never shucked. The world is still so small,
the evidence says, though their hearts cry, “Not so!”

— John Updike

Back from Bowen Island, a hidden gem of beautiful British Columbia. I expect to make several posts on my vacation before the yoke of gray days clicks shut on me. Since routine is the sly enemy of any renewal experience, there are some things I’ll want to write down before the humdrum claims that space on my plate.

My general impression is that it was every bit the relaxing getaway we’d hoped for. But we stayed a day too long. We spent the last day in a funk, missing home terribly, and feeling a bit satiated on unstructured free time. Kind of how you would feel while eating your fifth bananna split — it was too much.

But the overall efect was a good one. We left feeling more than satistfied, renewed, and oh so appreciative of our Home. Ah, our Home. And since so much about Bowen Island and its remarkable community culture is about cultivating a sense of Home, it is a fitting way to leave.

I’d write more, but we got home late and I have to get up early. So much to tell…

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