Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Watching the Trees Grow

When I was growing up, my family would frequently retreat to Ruidoso, New Mexico for some R&R.  There wasn't a whole hell of a lot to do up there.  I mean, sure, in the winter, we could ski.  In the summer, we could go to the horse races.  But, mainly, we just hung out.  My sister and I played in the woods.  We went into town and blew our allowance on tiny fake turquoise rings, kachina dolls and swirly candy sticks.  We visited the dusty life-size Native American dolls outside of the general store.  We read books and collected pine cones and marveled at the mountains that were so different from the flat desert we lived in.

After I graduated and moved away to the big city, my parents continued to go to our childhood vacation spot.  They'd rent a cabin and chill for a few days.  I thought this was absolutely ludicrous.  What were they doing up there?!  I was fresh back from my first few tastes of international travel (New Zealand, Turkey, England) and I couldn't imagine willingly taking a vacation to a place with no museums, wine tours, cathedrals or sidewalk cafes.  What were my parents doing?  I asked my dad that exact question.  "Watching the trees grow," he said.

WATCHING THE TREES GROW?!  Seriously, oldies?

So, Saturday, I went to see The Secret World of Arrietty with Tim, our friend and her seven-year-old kid.  The movie was very cute and very Studio Ghibli.  I remembered reading The Borrowers books and watching The Littles as a kid, so, of course, I was well set up to love the movie.  We walked out, chatting about things that made us laugh.  But, what I didn't say was that the movie shocked me a little bit because of my reaction to the location.  I wanted to go there.  I wanted to retreat into the little house in the middle of nowhere surrounded by flowers and trees.  I wanted to have nothing to do but read books and water the plants and, yes, watch the trees grow.  I wanted it more than anything!  To unwind.  To chill out.  To unplug.

This caused me no small amount of dismay.

I asked Tim in the car on the way home if there were places we could vacation where I could sit around and do nothing except maybe occasionally take a walk in pretty scenery.  I think I freaked him out.  We're not that kind of couple.  We're not that old.  We don't plan that kind of trip.

But, I have a Birthday coming up.  I usually love my Birthday.  But, not this year.  I am not feeling it this year.  This year I feel tired and worn out and world weary, you know?  I don't want to get older.  I don't want to do anything.  Well, except maybe take a nap.

So, maybe I am getting older.  Maybe sometime it might be nice for me to take a little breather and watch the trees grow like my old man.  It doesn't mean I can't still go zip-lining or wine-touring or museum-hopping, right?  Maybe I'll get out of L.A. for awhile.  It might be nice.

Now, does anyone know of a house for rent with little people living under the floorboards surrounded by animated flowers?

*photo by one of my folks in New Mexico.