“There’s no place like home!” exclaimed Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. One of my favorite childhood movies. And Dorothy had it right. But sometimes taking holiday (as the Brits say it) brings that sentiment to the forefront of my thoughts.
Dan and I came to London on June 16th, where he spoke at the New Media Europe conference hosted by Mike and Izabela Russell. We were in much need of some rest and rebooting from a very busy schedule and lots of demands on our time and energy. So we flew over for a short business adventure and figured taking a few weeks in the UK might be just the ticket. We were in London for four days and quickly decided the traffic, congestion and throngs of people didn’t do anything to relieve our stress but only exacerbated it.
Our hosts, Mike and Izabela, were amazingly gracious and the media event went very well. Our hotel was luxurious, service was great but trying to tour the city was excruciatingly cumbersome. Traffic was worse than I ever experienced in any big US city. The Russells were adamant that if we really wanted a taste for the laid back life of the UK countryside we should visit the Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of England, where they live. So we took them up on the offer. We have seen castles, large estates, little cottages with thatched roofs, beautiful hills and valleys and astounding cliffs and beaches. Places and sights that calm the spirit and bring a sense of rest to the body.
The Russells took us to dinner at Dan’s Kitchen…very appropriately named! Our meal and our conversation were both superb. Not ten minutes after being seated Izabella said she and Mike and their two little ones were going to head for a much needed holiday in the south of France and would be gone for several weeks. Their cottage would be vacant and they would be thrilled to have us stay there for the remainder of our trip. They treated us like family and their generosity was beyond the call of duty. We were in awe of their trust and their sincerity. And we took them up on their offer.
Seeing all the sights, and there are many, visiting all the monuments and participating in all the splendor of Great Britain is incredible…but we really needed rest more than filling our days with a rigorous schedule. So staying on the Isle of Wight in a little village with only a few places to eat and a post office that is also a tiny grocery store and a coffee shop, has been just the medicine we needed to reboot our bodies, our minds and our souls.
Mike and Izabela have a Haven of Peace that has charm, comfort, and heart in every nook and crannie. It is a small cottage with an incredible view out the upstairs windows of rolling hills and other small cottages. Very picturesque. We have had so many people want us to visit this and that and we can’t miss doing this or going there….but that isn’t the rest we needed. It is important to listen to your soul when you know you’ve had too much. Time for rebooting. Even computers get overwhelmed now and then.
When we get back home we will be refreshed and revived. We will be grateful for the chance to rest. But most of all, when we get home we will smell, feel, taste, touch and hear….the familiar. Our own Haven of Peace for which we are most grateful. Taking a step back from any situation often gives a renewed perspective that helps put everything back in order. Having the joy of a home full of love and intentional living makes me feel like Dorothy….”There’s no place like home!” I feel sure Izabela and Mike will feel much the same about returning to their own lovely Haven of Peace.
How do you feel about returning home when you have been away for a time? Have you created a living space you feel is truly your Haven of Peace? Do you really take time to rest when you are away or do you fill all your waking hours with so much busyness that you are exhausted when you return home?