My Staycation

by Alec Bonacci

In the past I’ve vacationed in a lot of tourist destinations, like Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It has a transparent slide that went through an aquarium filled with sea creatures. Experiencing that ride as a youngster was thrilling, yet I have learned that leisure and fun can still be had in poverty and simplicity.

Due to the pandemic, we have not been able to offer out usual retreat-vacation to families at our Cana Colony, and we members of Madonna House also have not been able to go elsewhere for our vacations.

So, along with another place on our property, we were offered Cana for our vacation. I went there, along with two of my Madonna House brothers.

There is a lake there and woods, and we did all kinds of outdoor things like fishing, hiking, and raft-building.

Wielding an old fashioned two-man saw, Daniel Wildish and I cut down some dead-standing cedars along the shore of the lake. These we hauled by rowboat and used to build a raft.

Michael Amaral designed the vessel, and we equipped it with a mast, sail, rudder, and propane tanks for buoyancy. We even squared one of the large logs by hand with an axe. Though we have yet to master the art of sailing, the venture was wonderful.

Our holidays ended with a tropical-like downpour and a vivid rainbow. As I was running in the rain and observing that spectrum of colors, I felt like a kid again. Experiences such as these showed me that I don’t need booze, and I don’t have to go half-way around the world in order to enjoy life.

One staff member has joked that all a person needs to have fun is “rocks, wood, and water.” But really all it takes is learning to be child-like.

During my vacation, there were no worries, just peace and love and the Father’s grandeur. It was a wonderful taste of what living in the Kingdom of Heaven might be like.