The Noblest Time of the Year

At the vacation, Maddie sees a way of living where you always discover something interesting.

The most shocking thing to me about the Mountains and Plains family vacation this year was that although many things were different than last year, I walked away with the same new desire for my life: I don’t want to be old, boring, and uninterested. I want to be alive.

To start the vacation off we read together the excerpt from Giussani on free time, “vacation is the noblest time of the year, because it is the moment when one becomes as involved as he likes in the value he recognizes as dominant for his life, or he doesn’t get involved in anything at all, and then he is, as I said, a fool.” I had this quote in mind when, on Sunday, after the hike, Mass and lunch, my friend Lorenzo asked us, the twenty-somethings, if we would go on another hike with him to a lake. He did the same last year and got about six of us to go. This year there were more of us, and even some of the high schoolers came with us as well.

As we walked to the lake, Lorenzo took the lead and walked with the high schoolers for a lot of the way. When we got to the lake we sat down and some of us put our feet in the water. The high schoolers began to get in and goof around and Lorenzo proposed that they play “red light, green light” with him. They waded further into the lake and the game began. It didn’t take long for them to reach him and someone to win. I watched as my friend, who is a professor at Denver University, the responsible of our community, and a big pain in the neck engaged with these high schoolers with a freedom that I have never seen before. He is interested in what reality has in store for him each day. He lives in a way that makes you want to take interest in reality as well.

When I look back at the vacation as a whole, I can see that it isn’t just Lorenzo who has this interest in reality. Those who were asked to give witnesses showed the same interest as Lorenzo: to live reality fully, to be interested in what another will give. The cultural events were proposed as a work that we do together – from reading Plato to making a feast together. They were intended for us to live these moments together.

Living this weekend with these people made my heart leap for joy that I too can live this way. I can also see my days as a gift from Another and so there is always something to be interested in.

Maddie, Denver, CO