Every year around this time I start getting the urge to have some sort of adventure. Since I have never strayed too far from home, I haven’t had any real big adventurous events in my life. It seems odd to me that I have lived a fairly safe and boring life when I feel such a kindred spirit to the adventurers in the books I read.
One of my favorite quotes is from a guy, Christopher McCandless, who gave up his identity and all of his possessions and basically became a homeless nomad who hitchhiked and worked his way across America until he landed in Alaska, where he ultimately died.
He said “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
I must have been some sort of wayfarer in another lifetime, but for now I settle for a repeating view of the same horizon.
The last time I felt at all adventurous was a few years ago when Michael and I decided to kayak on the Paint Rock River.
Michael tipped his kayak over a few times, which normally would have made it a pretty funny trip for me since I have such good balance and never tipped over. Yes, it would have been funny if not for the snakes.
The movie “Lonesome Dove” has forever made me afraid of snakes in the water. So when I crashed onto a little bank in the river and saw a multitude of snakes swim out under my kayak I panicked and any romance I had with the idea of adventure that day ended. I felt like I was on some sort of crusade for my life the rest of the trip, and adventures didn’t seem so fun even though we only saw one more snake. It was long and dark and yards and yards away from us, and even though it was swimming for the shore I couldn’t help but fear that it might change its mind, swim right up in my boat and kill me dead on what was supposed to be a fun day. It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever been mad that Michael did not bring a gun.
I dreamed about those snakes a night or two ago. They were in different water though. I’m not sure if it means I should set out for an adventure, or just stay safe at home all week long.