My friend Page shares time at her vacation home with her friends. Over the course of two weeks women come and go as their schedules allow. The house is large and people just sort of spread out all over, stuff spilling everywhere. There’s really no rhyme or reason as to meal planning but somehow there is plenty, supper is always superb (lots of good cooks in the crowd) and the kitchen gets cleaned up. There are no planned activities, although one year it rained the whole time so we had “art camp.” Conversation bends and tilts throughout the two weeks as different people drift in and out. We all have different “stuff” going on in our lives and eventually we get around to addressing most of it.
This year there is a pastor among us. She escaped from work for a couple of weeks and seems to be doing a good job of relaxing and releasing. I haven’t seen her check her email, and as far as I know, nobody has called her regarding church business. But, alas, the pure nature of her calling dictates that she is never, ever really on vacation. I should know this better than anyone, but yet it is I, along with another culprit, who put her on the spot and want “some counseling.”
Libba and I were on the beach, talking, catching up on our lives, our children, our plans (or lack of plans) and then talk turned to “what’s next?” Her children are grown and on their own, so are mine. She doesn’t have a husband to take care of and mine pretty much takes care of himself. Neither of us are formally employed but we love a good project. We’re both a little restless. Being good southern girls we know that restlessness is our intuition talking to us. Intuition is a mighty force so a girl might as well face it or it will just hang around and nag her like a nasty summer cold.
We continue to commiserate. “And what’s this ‘passion’ we’re supposed to have? What the heck is that supposed to mean?” Every time you turn around, Oprah or somebody is breathlessly saying, “Oh you must find your passion … you must re-invent your life.”
So, even though she is on vacation, we sought counsel from our pastor friend. We nabbed her as she was by the pool. “How do we know what our passion is?” Her answer was short and sweet. She jabbed me in chest and said, “Pat, you’re a writer, that’s your passion.” She jabbed Libba in the chest and said, “Libba, you’re an artist, that’s your passion.” Then she turned back to “being on vacation” and headed to her lounge chair. “But that’s hard! That’s lonely work; we sweat blood doing that stuff!” we both wailed as she walked away.
She turned for nanosecond. “Exactly!” she said.