What a long strange trip it’s been.

Well not strange really. I just wanted to say that.  😎 (Channeling my inner-Grateful Dead.)

But a long trip yes and I am reminded that what makes vacation so wonderful is that it is rare and not lasting and something we can look forward to and live fully and then leave until next time.

The beach was our vacation this year and then we added on several days in Washington, D.C., at the in-laws’ house. That’s when it all fell apart. (Well, it didn’t fall apart exactly but the kids starting fighting more, and misbehaving more, and we were just antsy to go home.)

But still, there were moments worth celebrating.

Yesterday, Shaya and I went to yoga at a Dupont Circle studio where they decided the rule was no one younger than 9 in a yoga class. My 6-year-old was crestfallen, so the teacher said, “Well, I’m fine with it.”

I couldn’t help but wonder, what were they nervous about? What motivates such a rule? Eliana, who will be 9 in October, said, “Would they have let me in, even though I’m still 8?”

And I thought, the calming, mind-expanding, body-mind-uniting effects of yoga has an age limit? Aren’t we silly, putting parameters and limits on something which is limitless. Again, what are we afraid of?

They let him in and we did yoga together, and it was warming and smiley and they couldn’t believe that a little boy would so eagerly want to step onto the serenity of the mat. That’s how I parent – they’re not macaroni and cheese and PB&J only; they can be sushi and filet mignon and goat cheese if we let them.

Then we went to National Geographic to see the Titanic exhibit, and the man who discovered the wreckage said in a video that what he liked most about his scientific journeys was the ability to “go where no man has gone before.” 

It’s science and it’s bottom-of-the-sea exploration and there are moments in every life, in fact, when we step onto uncharted terrain. Doing something that no one else has done – yes, the exhilaration, the thrill, the wonder of discovery. I venture to guess we don’t do it enough in our daily lives. Take chances, I mean. And what’s the harm?

Because truly the wonder of this life is awe and discovery and OH-YES!

The careful balance of familiarity and wonder is crucial for a life well-lived. Yesterday, I met up with two old friends and the connection was exhilarating and warming and yes-that’s-what-life-is-about. Friends who, even though years have passed since the last time we shared a coffee, are exactly the same wonderful people I always knew.

So maybe the few days tacked on post-beach were worth it after all.

If just to realize that it really is good to go home, too.

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