While the effects of COVID will continue to touch the lives of everyone for some time to come, many folks are trying to find a way to have some vacation this year. Now that Massachusetts seems a bit safer many are
seeking a bit of relief from the heat and the stress of these past months, before the uncertainty of the school year begins.
Every year about this time, I recall reading a column in one of the papers
from a regular columnist who writes about being on vacation. She describes in colorful language some beachfront town, maybe on the Cape or up Maine. The scene is charming, inviting, and lazy and always makes me wonder why my vacations are not as perfect as hers seem. I mean she talks about the beauty of the ocean, the breezes, the ice cream cones and cook outs; she describes the laid back mornings and lots of time for reading stuff she has looked forward to all year; connecting with old friends, pleasant walks and time … time to just be.
Don’t know why, but my vacations don’t usually seem as idealic as those I read about. I want them to be – at least as I look forward to a couple of weeks out of Charlestown. I fully recognize that I need to get away from the day-today reality of my routine and that a change in routine is really good, in fact necessary. Nonetheless, the person who goes on my vacation is the same person who gets up each morning at 5:30 and begins a schedule that is always full until late that night. What’s more, that person really enjoys each day like that.
So I conclude, it takes a bit of time to get into a vacation. The first days, 5:30 still seems the time to get up – at least Lily, my Black Lab thinks so. She is ready to go out, have breakfast, take a walk and start her day. Sometimes I tell her, we’re on vacation – go back to sleep. She doesn’t believe me. But after a few days, she starts to get the hang of it – we stay up later – there is more time for long walks, much more exercise and she is now happy to sleep in. In fact my dog gets into vacation mode faster than I do.
In August, I plan to get away for a couple of weeks. Slow down the daily pace, spend time with family and friends, get in some sailing and beach time and rest and read. I hope to stay away from the computer each day and not to hear the phone ring for whatever. When this happens, I see, again, what a blessing is my life. Leaving Charlestown and this parish helps me realize anew how much it all means to me, how I have grown to love this place and all of the people who form this great parish.
Maybe that is one of the greatest gifts of getting away: appreciating
what you have left behind and getting rested and refreshed so that
you can return. I hope that you and yours can also get some time away
before the weather cools down, and the schools open, and the cycle begins again, and that God blesses you and your family this beautiful summertime.
August 1/2, 2020
In today’s Gospel we find an equation the disciples of Jesus couldn’t solve: Five loaves and two fish divided by 5,000- plus people.
They failed to recognize Jesus in the equation; that whatever they had to offer, Jesus could take it and bless it and satisfy the hunger of the crowd with it. Good stewards recognize that the Lord can work miracles with the gifts they offer to a hungry and broken world.
How often are we willing to offer our gifts in faith, even during disquieting times, even as insignificant as we think they are, and count on the Lord to do the rest?
How often do we count Christ into the equation?