For the first time in years, I'm
actually having a summer vacation.
When I was a kid, I'd look forward to
the end of school. I'd count down the days until that moment when I could have
the whole summer stretching out in front of me, to spend it doing absolutely
Not really 'nothing' of course, as
there were always trees to be climbed, forts to be made and adventures to be
had. I craved those days as a kid; waking up with all kinds of possibilities
but no 'have to's.
I grew up on a big piece of land that
was mostly forest. Our neighbours had large commercial farms, growing grains
and cattle ranching, but our farm was very small - one cow, a bunch of chickens
and various other animals from time to time like rabbits, turkeys, ducks, a horse;
all on miles of heavy woodland. It was a kid's paradise.
There was never a shortage of things to
do. I was lucky that while it was a very (very) small town without many people,
there were kids my age within biking distance. So, we'd ride our bikes to each
other's houses and make plans. Let's pack enough food for 3 days and take the
horses to the lake and camp all on our own. No grown-ups allowed. Let's build a network of tunnels in the
haystacks so that the adults can't find us. Let's hide food in a hole in
the ground beneath the big tree so that we can all sneak out at 1am and have a
midnight feast and watch the stars.
We would spend the whole summer like it
was one beautifully long day, layering ourselves in mud, dirt, scratches and
scrapes. We'd have epic adventures just swimming in creeks and making up crazy
stories in our heads. Let's climb the highest tree to see how far we can see.
Maybe there are marauders coming. Let's stockpile sticks and rocks as weapons.
Let's build a wall. Oh, the saskatoon berries are ripe - down tools and let's
eat until we're sick.
I hope that kind of summer vacations
still exists for kids. I was surprised to find out that it still manages to
exist for me in this Neverland I'm spending the summer in, in deepest
This summer feels a lot like those
other endless holidays. Wake up, find my partners in adventure and go spend
hours doing nothing. I'm picking figs off the trees here and eating until I'm
sick. I'm sitting on my high, stone window perch every morning but there's no
imagination necessary in this case because I really AM in a far off, exotic
land. I'm staying up late at night and watching the stars with the rumble of
voices and laughter as my soundtrack.
It's bliss and I never knew that it