by Lisa DeRosa
Have you ever opened your personal email to find that all the unread emails you have are from companies you are subscribed to? When that happens to me, I tend to just mark them as read or delete them and move on with my day. But this week, Christine pointed out an email that we both received from the local sustainability coupon book company called Chinook Book. I am so grateful that she did because it has really impacted how I look forward to this Summer! The particular article that caught our attention was not due to the title (though a great one): 8 Ways to Relax into Summer without Leaving Your Hometown, but the paragraph below it that really sold us on the idea.
“You’ve heard about slow food, but what about slow travel? Slow travel is about soaking in your environment and making real and meaningful connections—with the culture, food, and scenery that immediately surrounds you. Walk out your front door and choose a different direction each day. You don’t need to focus on the destination. Instead, give yourself an opportunity to be guided by your senses. Walk toward the sound of the birds calling. Look for the art that reveals itself on buildings, in parks, and on the ground. Smell the aromas of fresh baked pizza crust. Savor the flavors of your own city and let your mind run wild.”
With staying home and staying safe this Summer, I have focused on what I am missing out on rather than what I can do even in this different season. It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote Practices for a Distant Socializing Difference, yet I seem to have forgotten about those wonderful opportunities! I can choose joy and embrace the beauty around me instead of focusing on what could have been. This idea of “slow travel” sparks a new sense of wonder for me and I am delighted to see how this shapes my Summer.
My husband brought this idea home, literally, when he set up a 12 station “road to reminiscing” date night for me in our home. I came through our front door to discover a trail of string leading to a note and numbered index card. The note explained that each station had an activity to remember and reminisce about our last five years together. He wrote the next destination on the bottom of the card and the string led the way. The journey included looking at framed photos, our wedding album, old blogs we made to update family on our travels, and a personalized snack for the remainder of the “road trip” when I made it to the kitchen. The final destination was my husband dressed in his wedding tux offering to dance with me in a circle that he created with the string. I must say, it is my favorite date that he has planned for us so far!
This activity can be adapted for a date at home, for when traveling is not an option for celebrating that special occasion, or for yourself to experience joy in a tangible way when distant from family.
“Road to Reminiscing”
- index cards or pieces of paper
- something to write with: pen, markers, pencil etc
What to do:
- Number your cards as you go along so you can keep track of the order
- Write the activity on the card and the next destination on the bottom
- Tape to whatever prop or item that corresponds with the card
- Use the string (and tape as needed) to direct to the next card/activity
- Start with a note about the experience and explanation of the activity
- Wear your favorite outfit or what you would wear out to a fancy dinner or trip
- YouTube music that will help you set the scene
- In the kitchen, prepare a favorite meal or specific food from the time you are reminiscing about
- Utilize each room of your home and yard (if applicable) to map out the road
- If you have a memory associated with an item on a shelf or table, wrap the string around it
- Dust off old year books and read the comments there
- Photo albums are great stations, but if you only have digital photos, your laptop/computer/tablet will work, just open to the folder with the photos you want to view
- Art or photos on the walls of your home can be a station to take time to stop and remember
- Prepare an outdoor activity in a similar fashion to what you are reminiscing, make sure your string leads outside!
My hope and prayer is that you allow God to walk you through the experience, feelings and joy, as you reminisce!