Refresh, Renew, Recuperate

I arrived home at 6:00 this morning. That’s about 30 hours after I woke up yesterday in Scotland and began the LONG days journey into night, a night I began to fear would never end.

After 2.5 absolutely delightful days in Scotland where I hiked with a dear friend in the Scottish Highlands and visited the Ancient Kingdom of Fife on the east coast, I headed back.
Let’s do the travel math, shall we?

1. 90 minute car ride to Glasgow then wait at airport.
2. One hour Flight to London
3. Get bags, check into KLM then wait at airport
4. One hour flight to Amsterdam then wait in airport
5. 6.5 hour Flight to JFK Airport NYC
6. Get bags, trudge through customs take the Air Link Train to the Subway
7. Wait 45 minutes for subway
8. 60+ minute subway ride to 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal
9. At bus terminal I learn that Peter Pan Bus Company (I kid you not) just changed their schedule. My 11:30 PM bus will actually not leave until 3:30 AM. Nothing before that.
10. Hang out in the bus terminal and environs from 11:00 PM until 3:30 AM. (Think of one of Dante’s level of hell–a particularly stinky level with no where to sit and where you fend off multiple offers for drugs, sex and violence.)
11. 2 1/2 hour bus ride to Hartford.
12. 20 minute taxi ride home (because I had to share since there was only ONE taxi for 6 people)

Needless to say I feel shattered. So today is a day to put myself back together. Eat healthy raw foods, drink lots of water and green tea, do laundry, sleep, sit in the sunshine, lean up against an ancient tree and enjoy some light human interaction–no deep theological/social activist conversations! Right now I sit perched on the sunny front porch at the Humphries’ home. 72 degrees, sunny with a cool breeze that stir the wind chimes to gentle action.

I head off to my parents’ tomorrow or early Saturday. My sister just flew in from Minnesota. My brother is on business in England right now, but will rearrange some things and hopefully join us soon. We will have more time together as a family. I know our mom will be leaving us shortly, perhaps within the next two weeks. We have time left yet to tell her how much we love her and just be there for her as she transitions from this life.

I often ask other artists and activists how they do it. How they live life fully engaged with the issues, the pain, the beauty, and yes the bills while also taking care of themselves. And how do single parents do it or even partnered parents, or people with disabilities or folks with jobs plus school, or people struggling with mental illness–with all the pressures within and without, with all the added questions about the future and concerns for the present?

It is not selfish to take care of ourselves. In fact, it is selfish when we do not. When we plunge into the work without proper boundaries to safeguard our own health and well-being, we only create unnecessary burdens for ourselves and others. These moments of feeling physically and emotionally spent serve as helpful reminders that we are just made of dust, fragile beings who need the basics to survive and thrive.

And with that I go off-line to refresh, renew and recuperate. I will post photos in the next few days. Thank you for all your prayers and kind thoughts. I apologize in advance if I don’t respond right away to e-mails and such.

This post has 5 Comments

  1. Contemplative Activist on August 31, 2006 at 10:54 pm

    New York subways must have been a bit of a shock after Fife! That is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. I am so glad you have the opportunity to spend time there.

    I hope you have time to relax and recuperate and that your family time is really special. I’ll be thinking of you and your family as you spend this time together.


  2. Christine on September 1, 2006 at 1:58 am

    You’re in my thoughts, Peterson (and your whole family as well). Glad you’re back.

  3. Heath on September 1, 2006 at 2:49 am

    Glad you made it back in one piece 🙂

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Much love,

  4. Willie Hewes on September 1, 2006 at 7:39 am

    Good to hear you’ve made it through. Sending sunny thoughts.


  5. Jennifer on September 2, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Your long complicated trip to Scotland sounds fun. Kind of like mine to England last summer.
    Sorry that your mother isn’t doing well. I’ll hold yur family in the light.

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