I often go to the beach in my mind in order to relax. We went to this beach on vacation two years ago. It was an amazing vacation; the kids continue to ask when we're going to get to go back to the Bahamas. For me this trip was one of the first times I truly took care of myself--I actually let myself relax and do nothing! When I close my eyes I can feel my skin pressing into the sand, the warm sun on my face, the soothing sound of the ocean, and the scent of the ocean in the wind.
I don't know if we'll ever get back to this beach, but I'm so glad I can 'go' there whenever I need to.
Another place that fills my imagination is Italy. I know that I will go back there again, and that someday I'll fulfill my dream of living there for several months (at least!).
I'm not sure where the love affair with Italy came from. I'm of Jewish/Eastern European stock. Yet when I went to sign up at the middle school in Staten Island after moving from Brooklyn, I had the desire to sign up for Italian as my language. For some reason I talked myself out of it, and signed up for what I'd convinced myself was the more practical Spanish. *
In high school I studied Latin, and went on to major in Classical Languages at NYU. This is when I had my first trip to Italy. I've been back twice with my husband; fortunately he loves it there as much as I do.
I can see us there in a few years, this time returning as a family of four. My children know Italy is a special for us and enjoy looking at our photographs. We've planted a seed in their imaginations, and I can't wait to see this dream sprout.
*At this same school visit I also talked myself out of taking art, which my heart really wanted, in order to take music. I was not viscerally drawn to music or learning an instrument, I just thought it was something I 'should' do. In my third year at middle school I finally quit trying to play the flute and took art! I guess this was a great lesson for me at a young age--in college I stopped trying to do what I thought I should do and followed my heart instead.