The Vacant Cure
Where did Adam and Eve go on vacation? Since they lived in Paradise, they didn’t need to go anywhere—but they should have!
Summer is vacation time, but when I was a child only the rich and upper middle-class had such luxury! The typical pre-unionized laborer worked up to ten hours a day six days a week! Sundays were their restful vacations…no wonder our favorite prayer for the dead was “May they rest in peace”!
In the1900’s, New Yorkers sweltering in the heat of the city began declaring their intention to “vacate” their homes to travel north to summer camps in the forest and lakes of the Adirondacks Mountains. A new Americanism was born—“Vacation”—and it quickly replaced the previously used British term, “Holiday.”
A summer vacation trip for most people and families is now a common annual event. The poor though still are unable to vacate their homes or jobs for a vacation. If your budget is stretched to the last penny and a summer vacation likely isn’t possible—take a one anyway! Why? Gradually, as dust slowly settles on furniture, the old twins Habit & Routine eclipse our eyes to the marvelous wonders of our daily surroundings. A cure for habit blindness is to “vacate” your home for a Thoreau exercise. I believe it was Henry David Thoreau who suggested departing your home and closing the door as if you would never return again…and then go for a long walk that would end where it began—at your front door!
Now enter your home with Alzheimer’s eyes, as if seeing it for the very first time! With such original vision, hopefully you will experience what Thoreau wrote in Walden, “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads!” G.K. Chesterton proposed the same when he paradoxically proclaimed, “The purpose of traveling is to come home.”
Vacations are a cure for many things in our lives. When you are engaged in any project, especially a difficult one, vacate it for a mini-vacation. Upon returning to it with new eyes your task will be energized with creativity. If not, vacate it again for a longer time!
What was the Original Sin? Was it disobeying God by eating of the forbidden fruit or the sin that preceded eating the apple? Adam and Eve weren’t happy and content having what they had with paradise under the feet and over their heads. They wanted more…they wanted to be Godlike! Ah, if only they had chosen to vacate Paradise even for a short walk they might not have fallen from grace.
A religious belief states we’ve all inherited Original Sin. So universal is being dissatisfied and always wanting more, Original Sin should be renamed Daily Sin!