It’s something to have dreams, lofty goals to carry to fruition. Plans to make and places to see, the sought after, unseen thoughts that drive the human condition. I can’t help but thrive on dreams, on plans, on going toward the next thing. There is so much to learn, so many beautiful places to see in the world. There are far away lands that I want to explore, items to check off on my ‘someday let’s do this…’ list. Through the work of my parents as a child and now my husband as an adult, I have been to a few of those places, seen some of those things. Been a traveler on distant shores, climbed mountains with the ones I loved best. Stepped foot in West Coast waters, and seen a small piece of the beauty of this world. And with all of those things, each of those places, all that time taken, the effort made, it is this one unheralded place that spurs my mind to its best place. It’s enough. This humble little spot in a tiny little town on the outreach of Cape Cod. It’s there that I can think worthwhile thoughts, slow down enough to breathe. It’s there we make time to see the stars, so profound in their clarity that they demand attention. It was there that years ago, my parents and sisters and I made our best memories, where we found the ability to only concentrate on each other when our time was not our own as we grew up. It’s there that Paul and I have learned and loved and felt loss and hope. It’s where we still want to be when perspective is needed. It’s where we’ve longed to be when things were beyond our control. It’s where we have come to realize that life is short, and it is good. It’s a town that’s not very famous or fancy, not on every ‘must-see’ list in sought-after travel magazines. But it’s enough. And though it’s really not, it does feel like home to us.
This past week we went back there. The whole Ryan family. Like we did as kids, piling up in vehicles and rolling down windows. 23 people, laughing and playing in the sand, walking on its shore. Instead of 5 little girls skipping through its waters, we watched our children finding the joy we discovered at their age. Eleven children who seem to love that place as much as their grandparents who started this tradition. And with all the prior planning, all the sentimental thoughts, and high expectations, it was even better than we could have hoped for.
It was almost time to leave for home when I turned to my sister and wondered why I always think that we need to see Ireland again, or travel to France or Tuscany or Rome. Why I long to see and smell the lavender fields of Provence. Why I can’t wait to see Paul roaming the culinary streets of Italy, intent on every bite. Why I (sometimes anxiously) dream of the far-off, the someday, the ‘let’s do this sometime…” While that may be a good thing, there’s value in truly appreciating this moment. The here and now. Maybe we will get to those places someday. Maybe not. But for now, this is enough. More than enough, for that matter. It’s just right.