Opinion: Breaking good for the soul

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Since high school decades ago, Spring Break has been a ritual. Some years were certainly more elaborate and others more austere. But annually. just as the icy grip of winter was about to release us, a short vacation would inject the strength to endure a few more cold and grey days back home. With marriage, my bride accepted that our holiday time would have to be split between the traditional summer retreat and my much-desired late winter break. And as the kids joined our family, they, too, would travel along first in a stroller. then on their own power.

We have educated ourselves in the historic cities of the North America and Europe. We’ve sunned ourselves on the beaches and pool decks of resorts and hotels specifically built for such activities. And, we’ve enjoyed learning together, sharing together and being together. When time and budgets would constrain us, we’d commit to staying in our own home but acting as if we were gone. We visited parks and museums that we’d not seen and we ate foods dictated by whim and not nutrition. When in some far flung destination, we’d work to enjoy the culture local scenery.

Not every trip was perfect. In fact, they would often be quite real. Missed flights and lost sleep would lead to cranky behavior  –  mostly in me but sometimes in others. But even as much as we looked forward to our departures, we’d begin to anticipate our returns. In the passing few days we’d shared adversity, broken bread, relaxed and been wondered by the vastness and, at the same time, great similarity of the world. This year marked our family’s final Spring Break with everyone at home and living fulltime under the same roof. Have we mastered breaking good? I long for more practice.

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