The Magic of Exploration
Our little house sat nestled on a five-acre field, the sprawling Wisconsin woods providing the backdrop to what was a pretty idyllic scene. I was a child, so my memories of Wisconsin winters are filled with nothing more than magic. Hours spent tunneling through the snow, building igloos, eating snacks inside our burrowed out snow caverns in six and seven foot drifts.
We lived at the top of a large hill, so the neighborhood descended upon our back yard daily to sled. We’d bring out pitchers of water at the end of each day, and build up a ramp of snow, sprinkling it with water between each layer. By morning, we’d have a frozen solid launching pad for our toboggans.
My bedroom was on the second story, and I’d wake up each morning to look out over the stark white landscape, a wonderland of possibility for my imaginative mind. I didn’t need a wardrobe to reach Narnia. It waited for me in my backyard.
It’s easy to remember those Wisconsin years with great fondness. I was a child, and my only responsibility was to bundle up and give in to the imagination. As an adult, I shudder at the thoughts of frigid winters and snowy fields, but as a child?
I lived for winter.
When I was little, there were few things I enjoyed more than exploring. My brother and I would wake early and make plans to traverse the woods behind our house. Of course, during hunting season it was imperative that we wore bright colors and made enough noise to not be mistaken for deer, but in the summer, when the snow finally melted and the trees turned vibrant, we’d spend hours and hours in their shade.
There’s magic in exploration, and I miss it.
There are days when the mundane feels like a blanket over my head. The predictability of life presses down, and I find myself longing for those early years when I was nothing more than the girl in the trees, swinging from one grand adventure to the next.
There are other days, however, when I’m completely smitten with this life I’m living. As the cooler Florida weather kisses my bare arms (I’ll take a Florida winter over a Wisconsin winter any day of the week now), I watch my husband and kids play in the backyard.
The boys kick the soccer ball, whooping and hollering in delight with each scored goal.
Tia flips and tumbles over her mats, the very same mats upon which I used to flip and tumble in my Wisconsin yard as a child, and I feel her delight as she takes in the world upside down.
And Annika tromps through the yard, high stepping over the areas where the grass is a little too high. Her face is filled with that rapturous delight that only toddlers possess when they’re given the freedom to roam unhindered.
All the sights and sound assail my senses, and I realize there’s plenty of adventure left. Some of the adventure is awesome, the imaginations of my small people lighting the path for grand adventures.
Some of the adventure I could do without – like broken bottles of nail polish and shattered snow globes, and everything else the rambunctious toddler longs to attack inside the house.
It’s all an adventure, even the monotony. I guess it’s just a matter of perspective, and a willingness to use your imagination. Because the truth is, we were made for adventure. We weren’t made for monotony because it leads to complacency, and there’s no power in complacency.
[Tweet “You and me – we were made for adventure.”]
If you sit back and think about it, I imagine you’re seeking adventure just like I am. Maybe you’re an obvious thrill seeker, always open and game for the next wild endeavor.
Or maybe you’re a homebody, content to stay nestled inside your comfort zone.
But I imagine you still long for adventure.
So what does adventure look like for you? Is it the challenge of your work? Is it the delight you take in watching your children grow? Is it travel? Do you find adventure in a good book, or in the creativity of your every day life?
What is it that breaks you free from the monotony of the day to day? When was your last adventure?
Has it been too long?
Helen Keller told us that “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” If this is true, and if you believe it, then what are you doing to enjoy the ride?
Happy Tuesday, friends. Make today an adventure.