As usual when blogging my mind is in a swirl. I can only seem to tame it when I write it all out.
We've been home from Europe for just less than a week now. And yes, I am aware of how pretentious that sounds, but keep in mind I had to look up 'pretentious' to know how to spell it.
We were gone three weeks and even knowing that those three weeks could change me did not really prepare me for how they actually did. I experienced freedom from details, chores, maintenance of material possessions, obligations, and even freedom from goodbyes to my immediate family. I experienced the simple quiet relief of being with my dad every day. I experienced watching my own country through the eyes of the rest of the world and the grinding sorrow that it brought. I lived out of a backpack for three weeks, and although not exactly easy, it was freeing somehow. Now all my possessions feel slightly claustrophobic.
To have three weeks with a daughter recovering from heartbreak, a son about to leave home for college for the first time, a husband whose job sucks the joy from his body and a father who serves the Lord relentlessly - it was a gift. A beautiful, rose-tinted, amazing gift that I will treasure in my heart for the rest of my days. To hold my baby/almost-teenager's hand through the streets of Rome and take silly selfies and share raised eyebrow glances at the world around us was a treasure. I could almost visibly see my youngest daughter's wings unfurl.
I think I said in a post once before that everyone should travel. I think, looking back now, that I was defending myself from criticisms but all I did was deflect the criticism onto other people. I feel ashamed. Travel is like a sweet jewel to my heart that I wish I had never shown anyone because my jewel is different from your jewel. My sweetness is not the sweetness others feel. I should shut up more often.
And yet, here I am, not shutting up.
I want to write all the details of this trip so that ten, twenty years from now, I (or my children and grands) can read them again and remember. There was so much love on this trip.