We sort of went off the grid this Labor Day weekend. Cell phone service was spotty at the farm, and although we could have linked up to the internet at any time, we chose not too. It was a relief to step away from email, text messages, facebook. I wasn’t tempted to check my phone every time it buzzed, because it didn’t buzz. In fact, it stayed in my bag and out of sight almost the entire weekend. Instead, I was present for my family enjoying our time together.
Another by-product of not using my phone was that I didn’t take a single picture. I find that when you step behind the camera, you take yourself out of the moment and become an observer rather than a participant. I wanted to take in every moment with my eyes and trust my memory to capture our time together. If I had taken pictures, you would have seen Grant and Sean racing at lunatic speed in the go-kart exhilarated by the freedom and risk. You would have seen Parker gain confidence, under Brenda’s gentle instruction, as she rode atop the horse aptly named Hightower with her feet barely reaching the middle of his belly. You would have seen a slow speed trotting race between Parker on Bart and me on Hightower. It was hilarious. You would have seen Dave being driven by Nathan on the Gator while Connor sat happily on his lap. You would have seen Aunt Sandy, Uncle Elias, and Bruce gathered around the kitchen island laughing and teasing one another. You would have seen a family together talking and just enjoying sharing time and space.
We are so grateful to have family that welcomes us with open arms so that we can escape to recharge and regroup. It was the perfect way to end summer and greet the beginning of the school year.