Pirates seeking gold, Hobbits, dwarves and Wizards, a southern boy on his raft all have something in common. They love adventure.
As children, we longed for adventure. We loved to hear the stories of knights clad in shining armor slaying the dragon and saving the countryside. Young children would dream of becoming fire fighters or astronauts because they dreamt of adventure. Many children today dream of becoming video game creators so that they can create adventure in the form they are familiar with. Times have changed but the need for adventure has not.
Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” At one time we longed for daring adventure. We ran around our yards shooting pistols into the air or brandishing swords. We hid from giants, lept over lava pits and spied on the murderer who lived next door. As we ran out the front door each afternoon, we were images of a frantic Hobbit named Bilbo running and yelling, “I’m going on an adventure!”
Like most adults today, I have few adventures. I no longer run out the door like the Bilbo who was ready for adventure. Instead I more resemble Bilbo at the beginning of the story who states to Gandalf, “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!”
Busy! Busy! Busy! That is what we are. We have lost our taste for adventure. It got put on the shelf where piles of to-do lists have hidden it from view. Instead of stealing away to a secret hideout like Tom Sawyer and plotting on ways to outwit Injun Joe, we’ve become Aunt Polly, hands on hips, foot a tappin, wondering where that Tom is, cuz there are chores to be dune! I never liked Aunt Polly. I was always on Tom’s side. That boy needed adventure and by-golly, he should have it!
Are you an Aunt Polly? Do you relate more to Bilbo when he declared that adventures were nasty things? If so, it’s time to chase some dragons, search for some treasure or step out your front door to head somewhere that is not related to your child’s sport commitments. “It’s a dangerous business going out of your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” JRR Tolkien
Each week that I write, my goal is to share something to help you enjoy an unhurried life. I want to encourage you to recognize areas of your life that you may want to adjust. Overly busy lives steal so much from us. We tend to work, clean, do for others, sleep and repeat. Our lives are structured and scheduled and free time is rare. Vacations become one more area that we structure and schedule and the opportunity for adventure dwindles as we make plans for every moment of vacation.
Summer is quickly approaching. I’m on my ladder. I’m climbing onto the roof. I’m about to yell! DON’T OVER SCHEDULE YOUR SUMMER!
You and your family need free time. You all need adventure. You need days with nothing on the calendar so that you can step out your door and find a path you’ve never taken before. “Still round the corner there may wait a new road or secret gate; and though I oft have passed them by, a day will come at last when I shall take the hidden paths that run west of the moon and east of the sun.” JRR Tolkien
How often have you driven by a place, a shop, a restaurant, a park or a special destination and thought, “Oh, I wish I had time to stop!” Our lives really need free time built in so that we are not living in the car always on our way to another lesson, appointment or event. Always remember, NO is a complete sentence.
If you have children or grandchildren, don’t sign them up for every summer activity you can find. Let them play outside. Inspire them to pitch a tent, to build a fort, to splash in the creek, to swing on a rope, to play hide and seek or any other game that involves friends and running around.
My children are grown and one of my joys is listening to them saying remember when… Each “remember when” if followed by some game they created that involved the outdoors and plenty of imagination. They’ve been pioneers, dinosaurs and countless other things as they played outside in our yard. Summers are sacred at my house. They are for resting, playing and having adventures.
As you read this, I will be on a grand adventure. My husband and I along with three of our kids are gallivanting around the southwest. We are boldly blazing a trail to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. As I researched the trails my first inclination was to choose the easiest and least dangerous. NO ONE was hiking down INTO the Grand Canyon!
I’ve been Aunt Polly for so long it took me a while to adjust my thinking and research the best option for my family. OK, they can hike part way down, but I’ll be waiting at the top. (not a lack of adventure but a lack of physical ability)
Last October I went on a grand adventure. Read about it HERE I stepped out of my comfort zone and my safe plans and found a mountain lake, alone. Sitting at this lake in the most amazing silence I’ve ever experienced, I was convinced I needed more adventure and I was transformed from someone who reads about other’s adventures to someone who wants to have them. So, here I am six months later and I’m out west on a new adventure. Wagons HO!
I wish I could have taken all of you along for a Porch Pals Adventure. Who knows, possibly in the future we’ll have some type of get-away together. But for now, I’ll take you along right here on The Breezy Porch. Next week I’ll share all about my adventures. I do so hope to have some.
“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead. The chances the changes are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break.” JRR Tolkien