Sunday, November 26, 2017

From the terrace.

I'm writing from the terrace of our apartment here in Carveiro, Portugal. It is nearly midnight. The air is cool so I have a red fleece blanket on my lap, and a white and black striped blanket scarf around my shoulders. The world is dark except for the city of Largo in the distance, the moon reflecting on the ocean whenever the clouds clear, and a flash of light that darts across the cliff near us from a lighthouse that I cannot see. My family is sleeping.

I had no idea what to expect with this trip. Even on the flight over, with a lap full of the two heads of my twins, stretched out on either side of me, I wondered if we were making a mistake. Of course, it was too late to do anything about it at that point. We were on this adventure regardless. But still, I wondered. Is this too much for them?

It hasn't been. I realized this week that this is actually our first family vacation. Josh and I have snuck away a number of times in the last few years on quick getaways. We have enjoyed family vacations with my siblings and extended families as well. But this is the first time that just our family is traveling together. and it has been so, so lovely. The time together... undistracted by things like work, housework, schedules, school, obligations. Just... together. Seeing the girls light up over something new. Sharing with them why something is touching my heart. Pointing out the beauty of a cathedral. Chasing waves on the beach. Waking up slowly. I realized that I don't necessarily need to wake up ahead of them if there is no pressing schedule to our day. So we start our day together. Without alarm clocks; following our bodies needs.

It has been such a gift. Such a success. Even better than I could have imagined it. I've been sharing a bit more on social media because, well, I'm slowly beginning to pursue a 'career' of being a travel agent. A travel planner. So I feel that I must, in a sense, share that we successfully travel. That we love it. That we're good at it, even.

My stronger urge is to keep it all to myself. Really truly. I look at these pictures and I know what they mean to me and I think about someone carelessly scrolling past them without a second glance. They are more important to me than to be cheapened by quantifying their worth with 'likes' or comments. I don't know how to caption them? What can I say?

"Here, on this beach, I felt utterly peaceful and content. I wondered if I would ever feel this way again. I watched my husband walk to the waters edge with my daughters and I laughed as they were chased away by a particularly large wave and I thought I could die right then from the gift of such a moment."


"Here is a picture of Piper and I. We are walking down a small street that touched my heart with its beauty. I picked her up and began whispering in her ear about how it made me feel. I wanted to share this feeling with her. I felt she would understand it, somehow. I wanted her to know how I could feel magic pouring from the old walls that surrounded us on all sides; from the plants hanging out of barred window frames. How being on that road, in that moment, I felt connected to the centuries of people who have lived and walked here before me. How some wonder that is deep within me is awakened when I walk these streets."

No. I'll just say something else. That is too much. I will let them think I am bragging; showing off my vacation. It is easier to do that than to say, "Here. Here is a piece of my heart. Here is my most treasured memory to date. I have tears in my eyes as I post it."

1 comment:

  1. Oh Leslie! And I have tears in my eyes as I write this! This is seriously so, so beautiful. I totally understand that feeling of something being too important to share... I've felt that way at times with certain songs or pieces of music, like I didn't want to share it if the listener wouldn't appreciate the way I feel about it. Like it's a treasure too special to cheapen by sharing with people who don't care. But I urge you to DO share, because people DO care! Maybe not every single one, but if you can move even just one person by what you do it's worth it. This is what makes you different and sets you apart- the way you feel and share about what you experience. And that's what makes travel- and owning a business- so special and unique! I love the way you think, write, and experience life, and I know other people will too! <3 <3 <3