I've been telling people recently that I live a fairly little life. Overnight work requires vigilance about daytime sleep. Having children in school demands attention to homework and tests and dismissal schedules. Life in general calls for lists and completion of tasks and simply keeping up. I may live in a vibrant city, but on any given day, I might as well be anywhere, simply getting through the steps to make life work.
And then, in walks someone from out of town, here with the time and energy and desire to see and experience and enjoy "my" city. And suddenly, my "little life" becomes a little bigger. Suddenly, the theatre beckons as strongly as my nap time. Suddenly, an exhibit that seemed far and hard and "for someday" becomes easy and "perfect for today." Suddenly, schedules are adjusted, naps are delayed, and tasks are postponed.
We spend months planning our vacations. But sometimes, if we keep our minds open, we can vacation right where we are. Stepping out of "little" doesn't always take a long flight or hours in a car, and stepping into "tourist" doesn't take more than just letting go.
I may have vacation trips behind me and vacation trips ahead, but this week, I got to play "vacation" without going anywhere at all. And I'm coming out of it as reinvigorated as if I'd gone on a tour or relaxed on a beach.
Even in the midst of a "little life," we can get a taste of something bigger--sometimes just by being a tourist at home.