It’s early morning on the last full day of vacation.
We’ve consumed breakfast.
And returned to our room.
Except for the woosh of an efficient fan and the slight rattle of an antique air grate, it’s silent.
But it’s not an uncomfortable silence. For it has nothing to do with dissent or frustration.
It is a mutually-appreciated silence.
Anyone who knows us will readily attest to the fact that we are not morning people. We don’t have much to say in the early hours, and we rarely display any kind of recognizable exuberance before noon. Even my students learn very quickly that I’m not to be tested until at least 10:30.
This, however, doesn’t mean that I resent being awake early in the morning. No, I truly enjoy the cooler hours before the sun begins scorching the earth, and I love the calm that pervades the air before the commuters begin their morning treks.
For my husband and me, it is an opportunity for peace before the demands of the day begin.
When it comes to vacation, this is a luxury we gladly embrace.
While many devoted travelers set schedules and wake up early to enact them, we choose a quiet peace. Sure, we’ll see the sights, but later in the day and at a much more leisurely pace.
Our mornings will be spent in an unspoken agreement of quiet reading and sipping coffee.
An onlooker might assume we are ignoring one another, but he couldn’t be further from the truth. For I have found that over time, my husband and I have developed a sensitivity toward one another that requires no words. We might be reading different texts on separate couches, but we’re still connected in the experience.
This understanding works well for us because we’re independent people who need solitude just as much as we need our date nights.
It concerns me that our society promotes the idea that couples have to do everything together, have the same hobbies, like the same television shows, attend the same pottery classes, and read the same books in order to be considered truly in love. The media suggests that having a clone for a partner is considered romantic despite the fact that it’s impossibly unrealistic.
Individuals, even ones in relationships, need independent pursuits. It has been my experience that those who can embrace this instead of trying to cover it up are the happiest.
Which is why I’ve been able to write this down while contentedly sipping my coffee on my last day of vacation. Thank goodness for quiet mornings.