Since the first of the year, I’ve taken six trips out of town. My semester fell into a pattern: I’d come home from a trip to unpack, work like crazy, catch up on stuff, cram in meetings, teach my classes, grade papers, and then just as my office began to look clean — I’d pack for the next trip. Despite the craziness, it’s been fun. When my kids were small, I stayed pretty close to home, so I had many years of being a homebody. I’m just discovering now how much I love to travel. It’s bittersweet to realize that my youngest child is 16 years old and I’m not needed at home every minute of the day, but I’m loving this freedom to explore the world and go places I’ve never gone before.
This afternoon I’m leaving on a shorter trip — my annual spring retreat at the Benedictine monastery. It’s lambing season, so I’ll be spending time in the sheep barn, watching the ewes give birth. Two close friends are coming on retreat with me, so we’ll have a chance to catch up on our busy lives. My time at the monastery – walking the trails, wandering through the sheep barns, chatting with Brother Beekeeper, reading in the sun, meditating in the chapel, lighting candles at the stone altar in the crypt — are what I need to keep my hectic life in balance.