After a week of swimming in the waves; plowing threw a massive stack of reading material; sea kayaking; walking along shore lines teaming with shells; seeing dolphins, geckos, turtles, a bald eagle, and a baby octopus; cooking and eating and gazing at sunsets and double rainbows with dear friends; and just generally staring out at the ocean on a remote, sparsely-populated south Florida island, we came home to busy town USA.
I jumped into a kid's room install, Bryan jumped into heads down writing for work, the girlies jumped into back to school prep, and we all tried to make sense of how to get everything done that we didn't manage to finish before we left. By Monday afternoon I was even missing the 44 hours of driving (there and back) that we endured to enjoy said vacation. (I listened to so much TED Radio Hour that Guy Raz's voice is permanently burned into my brain.)
But there is a post-vacation silver lining here friends. While that general blissed-out, mellow, sort of dreamy feeling that materializes when you have the opportunity to get away from it all vanished immediately upon re-entry, our familial interaction seems to have fundamentally changed. The four of us feel like a true team -- as only people who have endured joy and hardship (see: 44 hours in a car) can. We have each other's backs. We're kinder, gentler, more forgiving. It's as if we know that life and all its attendant commitments goes on, but the stress/frustration/blame/general pissiness doesn't (always) have to. We are riding the roller coaster together, hugging each other tighter when we scream.
And, maybe it's just me, but that's the best kind of afterglow.