Natural at this time of year to think about holidays - summer holidays, to be exact. When I was a kid and time seemed to pass much more slowly, the anticipation of summer was always palpable. I imagined myself like an inmate waiting to be released after a long, torturous sentence.
I think the best part of a holiday is the day you actually set off - the feeling of relief at leaving something stressful behind (like your job) and the anticipation of being in another place that may or not be new to you - but different from the daily routine we all trudge through that constitutes making a living, getting by. The feeling of escape is potent - riding up the ramp of a ferry or wandering through those cubicle-like hallways to your plane - boarding pass clutched firmly in hand - one can imagine a different life, a different you - once you land at your destination. A more patient, yet adventurous being with a devil-may-care attitude, ready to (in the borrowed words of Auntie Mame) live, live, live. As her movie dialogue goes, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death" - a line that gives me pause every time I hear it. Yet along with our suitcases, we seem to inevitably carry with us all the baggage of our lives, from place to place, town to town - from that, there is no holiday, no escape. Still the idea of it, the sweet illusion, can carry you a long way. And there are moments I remember where the escape was possible, wading in water warmed by the sun at Sauble Beach in Ontario, bare feet on sand - when I could be anyone and no one - just a figure in the lapping waves with no deadline to find the shore.