I don’t need vacations.
If I did, I know where I would be. I’d be in Australia just outside Sydney. I’d bring my husband and my son. They’d be delighted to keep each other busy and to leave me on my own. I’d see the friends that I so miss. We’d do the hugs and kisses thing. We’d reminisce and share stories of the times we’ve missed. We’d share a fabulous meal at their Australian table. We’d drink Australian coffee and have Australian wine.
I’d do reconnaissance and probably choose the coffee shop across the street from the crowd on Bondi Beach. I’d negotiate a deal with the owners for the table by the window in the front where I could use the power outlet and watch the people all day long. I’d hold court in my corner of tomorrow, upside-down from where I usually am, but with the sky still up above me. I would have my headphones on, my books, and my favorite pillow—the one that I sit on.
I’d have my computer on the table and some great Australian coffee with those narrow packs of sugar. What a writer I would feel like. What a writer I would be. How the people would look and wonder what things I must be writing. How they’d whisper and discuss who I possibly could be.
And my friends would come to see me, and I would sneak out to see them. And we would drink Australian coffee. I do like Australian coffee.
A day trip down the coast to see koalas sleeping—don’t stand under them, son—a ride to catch a flock of wild cockatoos taking flight out in the bush, and a road trip up the cliff with Australian wine and cheese, to watch the boats in the harbor while we talk of Captain Cook—all of these would blaze new memories neighbors to old ones—memories to hold me over for the winter of my life.
And I’d be with family and friends, and we would drink Australian wine. I do like Australian wine.
Once every other week my husband, son, and I would go to Sydney for dinner at Rockpool or another five star restaurant. Then the boys could go exploring, while I walked by the bridge and shared my thoughts with the water. Echoes of time passing would fill my soul and my heart with the meaning of safe harbor. My eyes would love the lights playing on the water like a mother at a playground wishes she could hug a moment into stillness, to save as precious cargo to carry in her heart to heaven’s gate.
Mostly though, I would sit by my computer, watch the beach and watch the water for months and months to come until boredom overtook me, until boredom without end. Boredom when it finally came is how I’d know that I was ready, that I was rested, that it was time to come home again. I figure it might take five years or maybe longer. I have lots of time I want to spend with my Australian friends.
Five tiny, little diamond chips like tiny, little stars are mine. Two are yellow. Two are pink. One is white. They hold a promise I’ll return to see lights play in the Sydney Harbor one dark and starry night. Five stars inside a tiny boomerang. I wear it on a tiny chain around my neck.
I don’t need vacations. I need safe harbor with my friends.
And some Australian coffee and, of course Australian wine.
—me strauss Letting me be