Vintagegoosehas a lovely online shop selling very cool vintage jewelry and other goodies like the antique keys above. Seeing her photo made me think of an essay I wrote about three years before I “started over”.
“Without Keys” was written while living in Key West but vacationing on Sebec Lake in Maine. Can you sense the career burn-out in my tone even then? Or just how desperately happy I was to be away from the A-type, three-careers-at-once, too-many-plates-up-in-the-air kind of life I lived…. hmmm.
WITHOUT KEYS by Anita Morrell
I know I am on vacation because I have NO KEYS. No responsibilities and no keys. No jingling metal bits to hang from the purple clip attached to the belt loop of my Dockers. No mass clinking against my thigh as I walk. No keys. No responsibilities.
Now let’s see. There’s the five keys it takes to get us into the business and two keys for our home. There’s my office key, my car keys and safety deposit box key. Scooter key, mail box key, pool key, bowling alley locker key. I have none of them here. I am on vacation and have no responsibilities.
You don’t need keys here on Sebec Lake. The pontoon boat that floats us up and down the lake starts with the push of a button. No keys needed to access the hiking trails or morning quiet. No keys required for the black night sky and the brilliant stars that are suspended there.
The keys are important in the real world but not here on Sebec Lake. Those keys allow me a way to manage and protect the life that affords me this keyless vacation space in my year. The keys are left behind with our most trusted friends. They carry my weight just now. Cause, you see, I am on vacation with no responsibilities and no keys.
I once knew an Englishman who told me that he thought that cold St. Petersburg, Russia and Key West would make a delightful cocktail. I now know what he meant. As much as I love Key West (our balmy sun kissed island), I too love the northern woods and crisp morning air. I love the quiet of the country where the only sound I hear is the breeze rushing through the trees and the squeaking of the boat as it rubs against the dock.
So I will drink this libation slowly this vacation week, trying to savor and observe and appreciate and feel all that I can. I will enjoy having only the sweet responsibility of life on Sebec Lake. Because I am on vacation and have no keys!