Sunday, September 2, 2012

Taking It All In

A few weeks ago as we anticipated the closing of the pool, the end of the summer, the beginning of our trip, my 13-year-old, who was floating around on the raft in the pool, said, "You know mom, I don't think I appreciate this enough.  I mean the whole summer has almost passed and I really don't appreciate it.  I think for the rest of the summer I'm just going to take it easy!"  Well, I really couldn't contain my laughter.  Really?  You are going to take it EASY?  I wanted to say.  You've slept past 10 every day, you have no job, no responsibility besides making your bed, and showing up for dinner and you are going to take it easy?  But I think what he meant was, "I'm going to take it all in."  That's the hard part.  Taking it all in.
Here we are in the middle of the country and seeing all sorts of new things.  Learning new words, learning new people, learning new places.  Trying our best to take it all in.  But it is hard.   There's so much to do and such a short time to do it all.  We are on to the next place, the next thing, the next exhibit before we know it.  We've been on vacation overload.  It's almost impossible to process it.  We have to stop and think about where we've been and what we've seen and somehow we're already onto the next place.  It's not a matter of stopping to smell the roses - that's what we are doing.  It's just that we have to let it sink in.
In yoga practice, after all the stretching and working the instructor will settle everyone down and say something like, "Let it sink into your muscles.  Let your muscles create the memory of the work you have just done."  I think that's the part that is so important.  Letting the memories stay.  Finding time to process and reflect.  It's so important. We want to experience it and relate it to something we already know. But sometimes we have to create a new file, a new system for recognizing it. It is amazing. It's amazing how the brain works and how kids learn and how we learn to take it all in.  Part of the learning is slowing it down and taking it in. 
While we were walking through Yellowstone among the many different types of geysers, I asked Annie, "What do you say when you see that?"  I was asking her for the name of the type of geyser we were looking at and she had researched Yellowstone and I knew that she knew the different names.  But I was in a sleep-deprived state and didn't phrase my question right.  So when I asked What do you say, in response she just said, "Look at that."  We've been saying that a lot.  Look at that, look at that, look at that.  It's a type of reflection, a type of prayer almost.  Wow - look at that.  That's amazing.  And it is so amazing.   And we are taking it all in.

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