Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just Leap

" It’s when you’re safe at home that you wish you were having an adventure. When you’re having an adventure you wish your were safe at home. "
Thornton Wilder

My dreams and promises of adventure have remained pitifully small and simple so far this year.
I took a giant leap and drove over the speed limit on Broadway last week. I used my debit card at WalMart instead of writing a check. And I traded sides of the bed with my husband.
Pretty adventurous life I lead, I know.
But, I got to thinking- adventure will not find me. It doesn't live here. It doesn't even know my name!
I have got to go out and find it.
" The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes "
Marcel Proust
Lying in bed the other night, I told my husband that I had been thinking about a vacation.
How neat it would be to travel out west. Just start driving and stop when we see an interesting
landmark or we're too tired to drive any longer. Then just pull over and start our trek again in the morning.
Ever since I saw Lonesome Dove, I've wanted to go to Montana. There was something so alluring about those blue skies and green meadows and snow capped mountains.
While some women dream of a sandy beach, a good novel, a sweet cocktail and a bottle of sunscreen- I've been dreaming of a log cabin and a bubbling creek- boots and booze and buffaloes-tee pees and trails and dusty days that follow me into my dreams.
But, then- after we discussed a possible vacation date, I suddenly got realistic- or scared-
or both.
"I suppose we could just stay home and clean the garage, too." I said.
And he shrugged. "Whatever. Keep thinking about it."
" Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles of life -- facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown and in the process, discovering our own unique potential "
John Amatt
I guess that is one drawback of seeking adventure. Housework finds you first. Chores greet you on a daily basis. The bank account screams of the doctor bill or the faucet cries out to be replaced. The grass won't cut itself- the garden must be tilled-
Who are we to forgo it all for a taste of the unknown?
Where do you draw the line between responsibility and adventure?
First of all- I think it starts with not thinking at all.
Just doing.
As one old proverb says, "Leap and the net shall appear."
But I struggle with that. I figure we could spend that time and money on much needed landscaping instead of a wild west trip.
You see, even when adventure is looking me straight in the eye, I look away.
Yesterday is ashes; tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly.
Eskimo proverb
My mother spent twenty years of her life battling cancer. It was a nightmare of ups and downs. Of hospitals and radiation- of welcomed remissions and bittersweet memories.
One thing my mother always wanted to do was to see the ocean. She wanted to stick her feet in it and look out to where there was no end to the blueness.
During one of her last healthy years, Mom and Dad finally took a vacation. A real vacation. Probably their very first vacation ever. They had spent all those years raising us nine kids.
She loved the ocean- the sun- the loving days that she and Dad spent together.
They could have been prudent and put that money toward hospital bills. But, when Mom died, what would Dad have? Just more bills. And regrets.
It was the memory- the experience- the adventure- that kept Mom living for as long as she did.
She talked about it often with a smile on her face.
And it was the memory of Mom smiling- with her feet in the ocean- that kept Dad going after she died.
You can't put a price on memories.


" Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- ’WOW, what a ride!!! "

This morning I sent off for maps and travel guides of Montana. I might even spend the day searching for things to do along the way.
We may never save enough money or get the time off, but at least I have begun dreaming.
And that is where it starts.
If you let adventure- even the slightest hint of it- enter your thoughts- then you are surely at risk . A risk that soon there may be the possibility of leaping into an unseen net.
Of making memories that money can't buy.
The landscaping?
It can wait.
Because adventure is calling...

And today it knows my name.
“Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.”
Leo F. Buscaglia

Today's Five Things:
1. Cream Horns
2. Blog buddies
4. Buttons
5. Fried rice