For the past eight days I’ve been almost entirely absent from email, texts and phone calls. For some people, that would be catastrophic. For me, it was a reminder of how life used to be—when connecting with others, not physically with you, required sending mail or using a phone connected to a wall. Obviously, there are huge advantages to having constant contact, but it does change life. I allowed myself the luxury of staying away from all the electronic noise in order to truly be in the moment.
My husband, oldest daughter, grandchildren and I vacationed in Disney World. The last time I had the opportunity to go there was two decades ago and a lot has changed. Now, there are “magic bands” that you wear to open your room door, get onto rides, and pay for everything from a pair of Mickey ears to an extravagant meal. Like much consumerism in our country, it’s very easy to just “put it on the Disney band”.
Reality was definitely altered and life, as I typically live it, stopped for a short time. It was almost like being in a bubble—even though we were aware that tragedy, fear, anger and hate marched on, we were somewhat insulated from it.
I always value the opportunity to be an observer of life and I saw many huge juxtapositions. There were exhausted children being coerced into going on one more ride, and children in awe of what was in front of them. There were parents yelling at their kids, and others embracing each moment. There were folks—who get to vacation every year—probably taking for granted that this is part of their reality, and families that saved for years to have one vacation, savoring the experience. There were stores jammed with people who couldn’t buy enough memories, and little ones clutching their solitary souvenir truly appreciating it. There was an incredible amount of food thrown away, and my awareness that so many others are starving each day. I imagine that for a large number of visitors there were so many expectations, and that many of those couldn’t possibly be met. For others those expectations were likely exceeded by miles.
There were several large groups with special-needs children moving through The Magic Kingdom. I watched as cast members spent extra time with those little ones, and saw their parents and caregivers revel in seeing the wonder in those beautiful children’s eyes. I thanked God, again, for the gifts that have been given to my grandchildren.
I went to the Hall of Presidents and wept at the presentation—more poignant to me than it had been twenty years ago—because I understand more each year the cost paid for the freedom we too often take for granted. I cried, too, at the beauty of our world on a ride that had us “flying” over landmarks, knowing that I walk among the blessed.
I watched the joy on my grandchildren’s faces when they were attending a show or talking to a beloved character or trading Disney pins—all too aware that at eleven and nine years old this period of their lives is passing so quickly.
Mostly, I was aware of the awesome privilege of this life,
Day-to-day life was frozen— to be thawed out when we returned to the “real” world.
We stood in lines to get autographs, and be photographed with, beloved characters.
We walked, and sprinted, and stood in the blazing sun.
We soared through the skies and visited countries around the world.
We danced in the rain when Mother Nature gifted us with a break from the heat.
We traveled through time and walked on lights.
We honored the differences in each other and accommodated them.
We talked during dinners and laughed over dessert.
We experienced exhaustion and exhilaration.
We stepped in time with the rhythm of listening and sharing and experiencing life.
We gave to each other the gift of time and the gift of love.
We had every meal together for eight days and time flew by.
What we did wasn’t really as important as simply being there together—creating memories that will later bring stories around the dinner table, and outlive Larry and me.
And, as night fell and fireworks danced in the sky, we drew a circle around the five us—a circle of love, a circle of life, and for that I am blessed.
©2016 peace full home™/intentional living
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Sounds like the vacation was filled with wonderful memories. Love your perspective on your shares experiences together. ❤️
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Thank you Betsy. It was a wonderful trip. ❤️
Such a beautiful picture and a great story filled with valuable perspective!
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Thank you Linda. ❤️