Florence, Tanzania and Bermuda were on the short list. But I chose to take my sabbatical in a small coastal town only an hour and a half’s drive from home.
It felt right. It felt manageable and more soothing than running around with maps and tickets and crossing time zones. I wanted to be in a restful place without a lot of outside stimulus so that I could create my own–inside myself without any format or schedule except what comes naturally by my internal tempo.
My rental home is cozy and filled with light. A wall of windows overlooks a snow blanketed balcony which, in turn, overlooks a short snowshoeable yard and narrow wooden dock that juts out into the frozen river. I look out at the view and it beckons me. The ice locking in so much potential. It will eventually flow. It will eventually release its energy. It will come back to life, likely around the same time I pack up to leave. It’s my own built-in private metaphor.
Private because I’m here on my own. But also because no one else I know really gets it. This is not about lucky me and winter vacation. In fact, it is about unlucky me and my decision to move in a new direction. It’s a deliberate, pensive choice not a frivolous escape. And because of what it looks like on the outside, I realized, I can’t share this. Nor do I really want to. Soon enough, I’ll be back in a familiar place wishing I could hit pause again.
Week 1 was hard for me to fully untether. But I’m mostly out the door now. Let’s settle into Selfishville. Population 1.