We are off on our summer break. We are spending a week-and-a-bit in France, probably lounging around, riding bikes, eating good food and enjoying good coversation. We are making the journey from the South Coast of England on 'The Cat' , which shortens the journey by a third. We have never been on 'The Cat' so it should be a new experience for all of us.
I love being away with my family. It gives me the chance to top up on my Dad and husband skills. Both are like muscles that require daily exercise and toning, but every now and then they also need a more intense period of training to make sure they are in peek condition. Spending time with my family lets me flex these muscles and use them to the best of their ability - to love my wife and kids unconditionally, without reserve or restraint. Whenever I spend time with them, I realise just how privileged I am to have them as my best friends.
It's Good To Talk....
One thing my wife and I will definitely do when we are away is talk. We love to talk, normally over good food and drink. Our conversations can often go on for hours, drifting into the night air. The topics are too varied to mention. Someone once said that spoken words never fade - that they come out of our mouths and continue into the air around us and eventually into space. Have you ever seen the film 'Contact', starring Jodie Foster? There is a wonderful scene where the main characters analyse the audio they have picked up from space. What they discover is an 'echo' of voices from the past - a playback of history.
Imagine what it would be like to listen to every conversation you ever had again? Not all of it would be great (I am speaking for myself here). What about every famous word that has ever been spoken? Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech; Winston Churchill's "we will fight them on the beeches" speech; Ghandi's declaration that "we must be the change we wish to see".
Some of great words and speeches have been recorded, but what if we could listen to words that hadn't been? Queen Elizabeth's speech to the fleet before they engaged with the Spanish Armada; Mark Twain's "Votes for Women" speech; the words of Jesus on the cross "forgive them Father for they don't know what they're doing". The actual people speaking the actual words. Words that were spoken which such resonance and historical significance, particularly those of Jesus - absolute love and absolute forgiveness. That would be amazing.
As I enjoy holidaying with my family and long conversations with my wife, I hope my words are few but important..... just in case they are being recorded and echo back in years to come.