Best thing about a holiday, beyond the obvious (that it’s restful , restorative, life-giving and fun) is the reminder it gives that our ways of living, where and how and why we plow through our days in precisely the ways we do, are selected or inherited from an array of possibilities. It could all be otherwise.
We know that already, of course, sort of, but bringing the awareness of contingency and possibility to the fore periodically keeps a person flexible and open to the unforeseen and unforeseeable.
Taking a holiday in another place can also deepen your appreciation of other lives and the fact that there are many ways of being human. Of course it can also reinforce your prejudices, if you regard those other lives in a skewed and jaundiced perspective. And you have to make allowances for the tendency, when away, to see the sights through tinted lenses. But still, the small break in routine offers big lessons if we’re receptive. Might even turn us into cosmopolites.
The other great thing about a holiday: appreciating what you’ve got, and seeing it all afresh, when you get home. Coming home’s the point of it all, in the game of life. Sister Wynona Carr said Jesus is standin’ at home plate, but I’m thinking here more of the old Anglo-St. Louis poet who said,
the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
It was great to take in the dawn from a different perch for a few days. It’s great to be home. The Ashevillian Tom Wolfe (“you can’t go home again”) was mistaken about that.