Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Change in Direction: Tuesday's Reflection

Here we are in the last week of August. I can hear you saying, "Where has summer gone?" I know where most of my summer has gone--into my book project. I have spent the bulk of these summer days in my garret. I don't regret that, but I can't recall another summer in which I have felt so focused.

What about you? As you think about this summer, has there been a focus? When summer stretched in front of you, what did you imagine? Did you think about how you intended to live in this summer? If so, how has that worked out? Did life intervene and change the course of your summer or did you surrender to the summer breezes and allow the days to take you where they would?

What surprises did this summer hold for you? Any new directions enter your life?

Early this summer my husband and I spent a few days in Door County, Wisconsin. For many years that is where we have gone for rest and relaxation. When we have wanted a "time-out," Door County is where we wanted to be. We have gathered family and friends there over the years, and one summer we rented a house for a month. I stayed there the whole time, and Bruce joined me for long weekends. It was heaven.

This most recent time, as wonderful as it was, especially spending time with good friends who live there, we felt a slight shift. One day we took the ferry to Washington Island to see the new lavender fields and shop and the good bookstore and one of Bruce's all-time favorite coffee shops, Red Cup Cafe, but we also found ourselves wondering what it would be like to spend a week or even longer there, as opposed to just a day. A more isolated time.

We have loved the combination of good restaurants and shops and galleries on the peninsula, but much of that no longer seemed to draw us. We began to have "been there, done that" feelings. What seemed to appeal more was settling in a simple and quiet cottage with a water view. We imagined ourselves spending our days with our books, fixing simple meals, walking the shore, napping, and not much else. That feels like a gentle switch in direction. 

Now here's the next switch in direction. When we drove north to Ely, Minnesota, to pick up our granddaughter from camp, I could feel a pull, a tug. A yearning. The sparkling blue water and shorelines where cabins and homes were rarely visible welcomed me. I felt another world open up in front of my eyes --and in my heart.  I felt both a serene awakening.

Our orientation for many years has been Wisconsin. My parents owned a wonderful home on Teal Lake in northern Wisconsin, and many summer weekends and winter ones, too, our family gathered there. When we lived in Ohio, we often headed to Door County, in spite of the distance, making our Madison years even more special because of the easier access to Door County.  

Now we are in Minnesota again. My parents' sold the Teal Lake home many years ago, and we are again further away from Door County. It is time for a change of direction--due north, it seems. 

We look forward to this change in direction, to exploring areas where we have not been for a long time or not ever. My Dad tells me I was in Ely when I was a little girl. 2? 3? And Bruce remembers camping in the Boundary Waters when he was around 10. I guess it has been long enough to consider forming new memories, new impressions, and to bring who we are now into a new direction. 

I am not much of an outdoor person. I won't be canoeing in the Boundary Waters or going on strenuous hikes. What I imagine, however, is similar to how I envisioned us spending our days on Washington Island with its much slower pace: reading our books, fixing simple meals, walking the shore, napping. And meditating, praying, spending time in quiet reflection.

The change in direction is not only one of place, but of focus. The gentle change in direction, it seems, is towards the inner life of spirit. 

An Invitation
Are you noticing any change of direction in your life? I would love to know. 

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