Last week, my husband (and kids) made one of my dreams come true. For about ten years now, I have fantasized about taking a trip to DeSoto State Park and The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Alabama. Years ago, a coworker, Sue, told me about the state park – a place that she and her family would meet each Thanksgiving week, share a cabin and enjoy this natural wonderland of trees and waterfalls. From a family member, I learned of The Shrine, but it wasn’t until I read Mother Angelica’s (of EWTN television fame) story that I became intrigued with the idea of visiting this little slice of heaven.
I heard today a statistic that stated that 58% of all vacations are a “let down.” This was by far one of the most relaxing and spiritually recharging trips I have ever taken. Being surrounded by God’s magnificent creations was truly awe-inspiring. Taking part in simple pleasures with my husband and children – playing together, discovering new sights and sounds and having heartfelt conversations was time so well spent. ( Refereeing sibling squabbles in the car – not so much fun!) The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, though man-made, was awe-inspiring as well. The designers and builders went to great lengths to make a temple as worthy of a King (Jesus) as humanly possible. It was amazing!
I have had an overwhelming drive to “simplify” since returning from the trip. Perhaps it was because this vacation was a “back to basics” kind of adventure. At the beginning of the trip, my eldest had difficulty relaxing. Removing himself from all of the technology, noise and distractions was a bit unsettling. He suggested that I should have “saved my pennies” a bit longer so as to afford a real vacation – not the “budget” version out in the middle of nowhere. To each his own, I guess!
I feel the urge to clear out the clutter everywhere around me – rid myself of things not necessary – eat more simply, maybe dress more simply, take part in more simple pleasures. I grew up in a home that was very tidy. Everything was driven by time and routine. When I got married, I “rebelled” by doing many things haphazardly or spontaneously. I thought that would decrease my stress. It’s not that my house is a total mess by any means, but I admittedly don’t have a place for everything – everything in its place. Suddenly, strangely, I’m craving order and simplicity. Is it possible to live such a life in a world filled with so much noise, activity and “stuff?”