My spouse and I went on a vacation recently. While we were away from home, I began to wonder if this word – vacation – really reflects time spent in these ways.
Time spent away from home and work is precious. Until we’re really retired from our jobs, it’s something that is rare in our lives. The bulk of our minutes, hours, and days are spent in work. Sometimes that work is our occupations and sometimes it’s “homework”. Before vacation, the to-do list often seems endless.
As we travelled in Maine and a few other states, I began to think of this time as sacred. Why did I keep thinking of it as time “off” of something? What was I vacating anyway? (Vacation basically means we’re leaving something/one/where rather than going somewhere.)
What Are We Vacating?
If it’s sacred, I want to be moving towards something. During our vacation, my spouse and I are getting the best quality time we’ve had in months (maybe even years). The natural beauty we’re visiting is awe inspiring. This is a time of renewal and regeneration.
When I lived in Scotland, we used the British “holiday” to reflect these times. In those lands, we’d usually say we were “going on holiday”. I like the active nature of this word. It feels to me like moving towards something rather than vacating.
Sacred = Holiday
Holiday seems like a much more meaningful and apropos word than vacation. This “time off” is truly a set of holy days. By holding these days (and now memories) in my heart, I reflect the preciousness of these moments.
I know that the word vacation will still be more meaningful to some. But for me, these times are truly a holiday.