So, maybe it's the cold and flu meds that I've been pumping in my system, but lately I've been day dreaming in vivid detail the idea of my perfect vacation. Actually friends, I think that all this mental space has been freed in my brain after being freed from the confines of school and studying, and now taking it's place are happy thoughts of totally unrealistic vacations for this time in my life. But hey, a girl can dream, right? Right.
It's the fairly early A.M., and my suitcase and bags are packed. I slip on a pair of khaki linen draw string pants, a clean, crisp white v-neck t-shirt, a navy blue zip up sweatshirt, and navy blue flip flops that show off my pink toed pedicure. I throw my hair into a pony tail, and head out the door. On my way to the airport, I stop by the local Caribou coffee and order "happiness in a cup": half the milk and syrup of a latte, with straight dark roast and an extra shot of espresso. I even spring for some whip cream, because today is the day that I'm headed to my dream vacation.
Once I park my car, I leisurely walk to my plane ride; destination: Canada. Once I'm seated in the plane, I read a novel by Francine Rivers and say a prayer or two as I'm watching the Lord's creation lying below me. Once the plane lands, the rental car that I arranged is waiting for me...almost as if it were saying" Here I am Sarah, I am here to take you to your happiest of all happy places." I hop into the car, following my GPS to the destination in which I will drop off my car, and board the local ferry. Upon arriving, I board the ferry, which will bring me directly to Prince Edward Island. I stand on the deck, arms propped on the railing, as I breathe in the Lake of Shining Waters. The greens, blues and greys of the sea enchant me, and it is at this point that I realize that I have stepped into the world of my childhood hero: Anne of Green Gables.
You see, even though Anne of Green Gables is fictional, we are quite tied by the hearts. Ever since I was a little girl, I've identified with Anne on so many levels, and so wished that I could enter her world. No matter how difficult things became for Anne....losing her parents to Scarlett fever, being physically and verbally abused by multiple people, and living with very little, Anne always remained optimistic about life and herself, because she believed in the power of imagination, and the simple fact that everyone is good at heart.
Once the boat pulls ashore, I grab my belongings, and walk to the Bed and Breakfast that would serve as my home for the next two weeks. As I walk up the cobble stone path, I can't help but smile when I take in the view of an old, historic white house with navy blue trim, shutters, a white picket fence and a porch swing. I knocked on the door, and the sweetest woman in the world welcomes me by name, extending a hug as if we were truly "kindred spirits". "You must be so tired from your trip!" she says,as she takes my bags, and shows me to my room, fitting in a little bit of history of the bed and breakfast here and there. She opens the door to my room, and I feel as if I am in a dream. a single bed with a beautiful navy, cream and pink quilt, a distressed white dresser and matching vanity and a bouquet of fresh flowers greet me, with a window overlooking the sea. "Dinner will be served promptly at 6:30 tonight, and breakfast will be served every morning at 9:00 a.m." says the kind, matronly boarding lady. I thank her, and she leaves me be. "Is this really happening?" I ask myself, as I take in the wonderfulness of this moment.
For one whole week, I am on my own, enjoying the beauty of solitude combined with the exquisiteness of Prince Edward Island. I spend my week exploring the Island, visiting little shops with character and charm, spending hours with Jesus on the beach, pen and journal in hand, marveling at His presence and provision in my life. I become fast acquaintances with the other boarders, enjoying the opportunity to meet new people and hear their stories.
After a week by myself, three of my dearest friends join me for a week of pure "togetherness". Coffee and scones on the porch by day, and lobster and red wine on the beach by night, we enjoy each other's company and authenticity, without worrying about schedules, responsibilities and those things that weigh a woman down. We wade in the water as if we were small children, realizing that we have always been small children at heart. We laugh just as hard as we cry, our existence feeling at peace while surrounded by the beauty of Prince Edward Island, and the beauty of friendship.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. Renewed by beauty and friendship, real life doesn't seem so unbearable. In fact, I'm reminded that we must indulge in some of those day dreams to make real life seem a little less harsh. Sometimes we need to focus on the truly beautiful things in life to remind us that those beautiful things are always there...sometimes they are just harder to see. Is it a possibility that day dreaming can help us see things more clearly?
I think Anne would whole heartily agree.