Hurrying home for the holidays, or hurrying to Grandma’s house, or calling a halt at the office for some focus on family and friends, our sense of place is wrapped up in the ways we celebrate our holidays. What we find, as we enjoy some peaceful time to think, is that the places are just the settings for our relationships. The places stay put but the relationships are portable.

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.

There’s a lesson here for everyday life if we think carefully about it. In the midst of a particularly gratifying season of holidays among The Shops at Sea Pines Center, we discover some thoughts to share.

Where We Can Connect

The lessons and experience of generations – as well as some interesting recent scholarship – suggest that snapping out of our diligence and duty occasionally, if only for minutes or hours, can be important to our sense of well-being and satisfaction. These moments of connection lend strength to the relationships that make life worthwhile.

It’s not that routine is an enemy of relationships, in fact the steadiness of regular practices forms part of the reliability that reassures us in relation to partners, family, loved ones, and friends. But left to itself, routine too often can lead to overlooking. By attending to the must-dos of life reliably and regularly, it’s possible to let those tasks and activities take over our awareness. The mundane can take precedence over the moments and gestures – and the places – that really connect us with the important people in our lives.

A Matter of Importance

Just how important are these connections with others? The noted historian Yuval Noah Harari writes, in his book Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, that it is our ability to share stories and images with each other that truly sets human beings apart from the rest of the universe. Our capacity to create and share our own versions of what’s going on is what binds us together. All human progress, Harari suggests, stems from this ability.

We connect and communicate about things that haven’t happened yet, and in doing so we invent together the world that we then come to occupy.

As We Reflect

Settling into our regular lives, after the H=holidays or even after a rewarding vacation, we reflect on just how valuable these traditions and practices have proven to be. Family and social life – the courtesies and communication that enable us to accomplish more together than we ever could do alone – are preserved and nourished by these occasions when we call a halt to the hustle-bustle, whether for holidays, for a vacation, or for making our daily life a little more interesting with a moment that we simply share.

Perhaps this is why we notice so many people consider The Shops at Sea Pines Center as a very informal forum. We are grateful to have become known as a place where interesting things happen, and yet our real role is to be a place where people connect.

In holiday season and all through the year, residents pause in the plaza to chat, guests re-connect with each other and with the latest on Sea Pines life, and visitors find out the inside story on how to enjoy Hilton Head Island even more. We are grateful to play this role today and for generations past and future.