We had the privilege of having our city-born-and-bred, 11 year old grandson with us over the holidays. Time away with those who love you, in a place of quiet and calm, with no regular schedule to keep, and with none of the “ordinary” tasks to accomplish – turned out to be the perfect “re-set” for each of us. Starting and ending each day with a story, with eyes wide, ears open and alert, yet still tucked away inside of the fuzzy blanket cocoon – has its effects. The noise of the normal everydayness fades and the schedule slows until it, too, disappears, allowing everyone to simply be. Trees were climbed, backyard balls were bashed with the borrowed Wiffle-ball bat, waffles (gluten free) were wolfed down, the King was chased and checked on the chess board, Homer’s Odyssey was discovered in the Little Free Library outside, (then absorbed, with legs slung over the arm of the living room chair with the book tucked at the perfect distance for reading) and a myriad of Monopoly games made us each masters, misers or wild property-chasing maniacs. We soaked in the stillness and we soaked in one another.
At the end of our time together, Adrian said quietly from the backseat, “Please don’t be offended, but I’m ready to go back home. It’ll be nice to get back. I miss Mommy and Daddy.” That was the perfect ending to a trip away, and exactly the way it should’ve been. Endings that are “just right” yield new beginnings – that “re-set,” and a fresh, new start. The trip was done, with only memories and gratitude remaining. Yup. Just right.
And now it’s January. Our website has been re-worked, refreshed and re-set, (and will be live soon), and our walls upstairs have clean coats of new paint. The upstairs is ready for guests, so downstairs, along with some other ongoing projects of mine, I’ve begun reading a new book, Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom by David Blight (2018). I’m on p. 229 (out of 764, and yes, I’m counting; it’s readable but dense) but in the very front, before the reader even gets started, are words of Douglass’s that draw you in: “There is a prophet within us, forever whispering that behind the seen lies the immeasurable unseen.” Our prayer for you is that you either discover or rediscover the “unseen” in places that simple stillness provides. Come for some time away for A Simple Stay at Simply Bed & Bread to see what you can find.