I pick up a frosty drink and take a sip. I’m lounging on the soft Caribbean sand and couldn’t be happier. Before I have time to really savor the image, a worker in a white jump suit walks up with a large classroom eraser in his hands and erases the picture from my mind. He replaces it with another image of me, standing over a cliff, looking out over The Grand Canyon. The bright puffy clouds and the picturesque canyon stretch as far as the eyes can see and I’m overtaken by the majesty and size.
The picture is up for maybe thirty or forty seconds and I hear a TV remote control click and the large image in front of me is instantly replaced by a video of me dressed head to toe in winter-garb hiking along a snow-covered trail. I take one step then another and then stop to watch a deer walking in the distance. It’s foraging for food from a few nearby bushes and trees that haven’t been covered by the morning snow.
I’m just getting used to my new surroundings and the video goes away, scrunched up like a paper ball that you would throw into the office garbage can, replaced by another. This time a handsome man dressed warmly in woolen sweater and surrounded by a green pasture says in a thick Irish brogue, “Let us show you the magic of Ireland. Come to Ireland, God’s country.”
Of course, these images are all in my mind. I’ve been tossing and turning, half asleep, half awake for the past hour, dreaming of the all the places I would like to visit. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in dramatic fashion in the spring, my wife and I had been been planning possible vacation trips. We were finally going to take some time from the work craziness and take some time for ourselves to get away.
We had a variety of places that we were considering. Oh sure, we were thinking of visiting our son in California or our daughter in South America, but we were thinking of other places too. We were thinking of someplace warm like the Caribbean, somewhere fun and full of history and charm possibly in Europe, or even somewhere adventurous like Arizona, Utah, or Montana. The opportunities were endless.
The pandemic has obviously thrown a major wrench into our plans, but it hasn’t stopped my brain from thinking of the million and one different places that I would love to travel. When I fall asleep each night, I find myself traveling to some fun new place. It’s always somewhere different, but by the end of the night, right before I wake, I’m always back in the same spot: California or South America. Of course, to see our kids.
Covid has played a nasty trick on us this year, bullying us, and continues to play “keep away” preventing us all from getting on with our lives, but, at least in my brain, my family is together again enjoying each other’s company and that’s not all bad.