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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 26-Jul-06


Wednesday 26-Jul-06

Summer holiday, beginner's mind

'We're all going on a Summer holiday', as Cliff Richard sang, many years ago. As a young teenager, I was entranced by the glamour of a group of young people driving a London double-decker bus around Europe, and dreamed of the freedom of the open road. And now I'm doing the same. Not in a bus but my mid-life crisis (well, that's my excuse), a Topaz blue BMW Z3.

For the first time in 24 years, my wife and I am going on holiday with just the two of us, leaving the kids to their own devices. 18 glorious days with the roof down, the wind in our hair and anyone but Cliff Richard on the MP3-radio. We're doing a grand tour, taking in Ghent, Dusseldorf, The Black Forest, Lucerne, Interlaken, Montreaux, Dijon, Reims and Calais and will no doubt come back with enough footage to bore the most patient relative to tears.

Oh, to be 23 again -- youth is wasted on the young, as someone with the wisdom of age once said (and old fools have repeated since). You can but pretend and we'll do plenty of that, 'for a week or two', as Cliff sang.

Holidays have ever been times of escape, when going to foreign parts lets you start anew, sloughing off the everyday drudge of the familiar. On holiday, you can have what zen buddhists call a 'beginner's mind', seeing everything with a fresh eye, taking a child's delight in breathtaking vistas and home-made ice-cream.

And as the zen saying intimates and artists know, you can bring home that freshness and use it every day, making the familiar strange at the turn of your mind. Every day, every thing can be seen differently and new aspects discovered. You can take a holiday from everyday thinking, any time you choose now. Be a tourist in your own skin. Sip at the cup of delight whenever you like. All you need to do is to look and see.

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