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QUINTESSENCE

A Day to Remember


“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." ~ John Muir

That kind of day. A true vacation day. You're off the clock. And by that I mean the clock isn't just tucked for the moment in your pocket, your thoughts playing in the background over all the things left undone in your inbox. This day it's warm out and the sky mirrors the wide expanse of turquoise water. The breeze so soft it barely stirs the grasses that fringe the edge of the lake.

I trailed my hand in the water, a passenger in a boat navigating the shady canals separating Lake Osceola from Lake Virginia and Lake Maitland. The boat rounded each of the curved bays that form the heart of picturesque Winter Park, Florida, and somewhere out there I found that elusive grace note - a timeless moment of utter peace. The long arc of the sun overhead. The water calm, the agenda mellow. Graceful oaks dip tangled braids of Spanish moss into the shallows as we slip under their shadowy limbs. Egret and tern, cormorant and heron work silently in the cool waters. The stir of philodendron hints at the passing of the brown bandit snake. Time unhooks from the present, the moments spool into a richness of sunlight and ease. Turn your face to the sun, breathe deep.

Later, I thought about the gift of that timeless peace. I hadn't felt without care or agenda, anxiety or deadline in, well, forever. What does it take for us to slow down? How does nature live so effortlessly in the parenthesis between yesterday and tomorrow? I was given the now, allowed to float in the pulse of the universe...riding a slow flat-bellied pontoon boat under a cloudless sky. A day to remember.

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