I was driving. It was one of those impossible roads in the forgotten rural Orense, and for a little while I was able to focus on nothing more than that one instant: a rabbit standing in a ditch, cherry trees filled with vermillion, chamomile and fennel clinging to the sides of walls, all possible kinds of green; gray, white and also violet clouds, and a spotted cat, and a dozen cows… Beauty, all around me was beauty. And then I took a deep breath and I understood that, for a moment, I was able to disengage, to be a person, to breathe freely.
I thought about all those things we don’t see before us because we are so busy with those things we must see. Regardless of the job one has, being able to disentangle oneself from worries is becoming incredibly difficult. Perhaps, vacations are just a utopia: the more one worries about emptying one’s mind, the less the body rests, or vice versa: when one decides to give the body a rest, then there is no mental tranquility to be found.
Life takes no vacations. Instead, it takes moments of happiness, joy, or sadness, of love and heartbreak, of tranquility, of passion, of pain…but it takes no vacations. Our problems and those of others go on, and troubles are a part of what we are.
I remember only the good in my childhood summers: collecting and taking care of crickets, walking with the Galician Sheperd dog, spending time with my family, dancing and singing with my father’s brass band… Perhaps that is the key to the meaning of adults’ non-existent vacations: to be here and now, present in the current moment and enjoying the daily beauty that none of us bother to appreciate anymore.