Monday, January 31, 2011


I awake on my back looking up at a white ceiling fan; but not the same ceiling fan.  The breezy sound I can hear isn’t coming from the gentle wind lifting palm leaves outside our open window; it’s the sound of heated air flowing through furnace ducts.  And the rhythmic rushing sound isn’t waves of surf on a sandy beach a few yards away, but the peaceful snore coming from the other side of the bed.  I am home.

No more red tile floor of La Casita Sombra.

No more being awakened by 
the trill and squawk of jungle birds, 
no more quiet days free of 
unwanted conversation and responsibility. 
No more sand between the toes.

But I’m so glad to be back. 
Being a gringo is a challenge 
even when the locals try very much to be helpful.

I look through the photos and the stuff in our suitcases and think of the Parable of the Pebbles.

A man was walking along the beach in the evening when a voice said to him, “Pick up some pebbles and put them in your pocket, and tomorrow you will be both happy and sad.” The man obeyed. He stooped down and picked up a handful of pebbles and put them into his pocket. The next morning he reached into his pocket and found diamonds, rubies and emeralds. And he was both happy and sad. Happy he had taken some—sad that he hadn’t taken more.

I’m happy to have the precious memories of our amazing adventures and fun experiences; ecstatic that no disaster or calamity happened; and grateful to return to find all well with home and family. But still I’m so sad. I'll miss Akumal.

And I know I said we'd try to bring back some warm temperatures and sun.  
One look at the weather map tells you we FAILED MISERABLY!


Bragger said...

What a perfect way to sum up the bittersweet experience of traveling. Nice post!

Janie said...

Glad you 're home safely after enjoying your exotic beach vacation. You're just in time to enter the deep freeze over the next few days - at least that's what we're getting here in Utah.

Notes From ABroad said...

Be careful, don't do what we did. We left a gloomy wet fall in Oregon and visited sunny Spring in Buenos Aires and moved there 5 months later.
Sometimes, just visiting makes you appreciate what you left behind and when you are home, you can remember only the good things about where you visited.
Thank you for commenting on my blog :)

Butternut Squash said...

So happy to have you home safe and sound. But then again I'm sad that you had to leave the warmth so soon.
Welcome home.

TALON said...

Glad you are home safe 'n sound, Leenie. It always feels like we need a vacation from the vacation, doesn't it? Alkumal looks heavenly! So glad you had a wonderful time and I'll forgive you for the snowstorm we're expecting tonight ;)

Linda Sue said...

Welcome back to spudland, snow, cold, and love sent from up north- from Dexter and me.Bloody cold up here!We missed you ! I think you are right about being North western and a happy medium between east and west- right and left. We are just every way! Welcome home gingo chica!

Anzu said...

Welcome back to sweet home in safety. You must have gotten a lot of colorful and shining memories. Those are your happy treasures forever.
Thank you for sharing impressive bittersweet memories.

The Weaver of Grass said...

But what lovely memories you will have to look back on.

susan m hinckley said...

Ahhh -- coming home. Nothing quite like it in the happy/sad department. Hopefully your reentry will be a smooth one. And at least you have those recent memories of things like sun and sand . . . for some of us they are just very vague glimmers. Hope it was a perfect break!

Anonymous said...

Glad it all went well - I could do with a sunshine holiday!!

Sarah said...

I am glad that you have happy memories of your holiday but it is always good to get home! Love the sandy toes picture. It looks like a slightly too stony beach for bare feet though! Hope the weather warms up a bit. We have mild weather coming tomorrow apparently so I may not need to stand under the heater at work!

DayPhoto said...

You are so right...traveling is a bitter sweet time. Great photos!