I've always been a bit of a paradox. I love quiet, old fashioned English tea times where I set a table, gather my mismatched cups and saucers and favorite tea pot of the day, and sit down with a loved one to a peaceful sipping and munching while the day winds to a temporary halt. Yet I also love watching professional bull riding competitions on T.V. and whooping it up when they manage to stay on for the eight seconds of guts and glory and screaming out warnings when I see some rider getting whipped off that bull like cotton candy splaying around just before its handed to some sweet-toothed kid at a fair.
I can hole up for days working on my writing and miscellaneous ideas, and yet I can suddenly be needy for contact with the outer world, feeling thirsty for laughter or walking or even just chatting with a grocery clerk in the check out line. Nobody can handle too much of one thing for any long period of time without feeling a little holed in. That's my thinking on the matter.
My son has a friend who is contemplating joining the Navy. I chatted with him the other day and managed to smile encouragingly at his enthusiasm for this new possible adventure in his life. But later I asked my husband (now, I'm not that bright about military branches and such so bear with me here), "Isn't the navy the branch of the military with the submarines? That little yellow underground place where you live in constant claustrophobia and panic?"
"That's how you'd feel living in a submarine, but many men do just fine there," my husband reassured me. I was not reassured. I can't think of how anyone could survive looking through little windows and seeing fish or sharks swim by. My husband informs me there are no little windows, that that's what they have on fancy cruise ships- not on submarines. Oh. Well, in any case, I want to see trees and sky when I look out a window. I want to be able to decide that I need to take a walk and then suddenly do so- opening up a door and walking out into fresh air. You can't do that on a submarine.
Going on a whim. Flying on a wing and a prayer. I think what I'm talking about is that sometimes we need to suddenly follow a hunch, or suddenly take a turn down a new street, or decide to go for a walk when we are not the "walking" type of people normally. For some of us, this is the beginning of adventure. Adventure starts when we take a crumb of incentive or desire and go with it. When we move, we can have an adventure. When we start a new business or when we decide to take a class- that could be the beginning of an adventure.
My good friend, Mu, and I went for breakfast the other day. At the end of our two hour power breakfast, we talked about an idea we had at one time that we had not acted on...yet. There was an adult education class that had interested us at one time. We had discussed signing up for it together. Discussed- mind you. But that's all we did.
But I'm happy to report now that we have moved beyond the discussion stage. After our breakfast, we suddenly saw the adult education booklet in the lobby, picked it up, leafed through it, and picked out two classes in particular that we wanted to take together.
"We're doing it," one of us said, but I don't remember which one of us said it. I think we both said it, but in different ways. And by the end of the day, I had signed up for not two but five classes on an assortment of things. Oh the world of adventure that is before us! Mu and I will be in two of those classes together, and then who knows what we will decide to do next.
"Cast your bread upon the waters..." Ecclesiastes 11:1 says. One commentary said that the word might not be "bread" but "ships"- meaning, send out your ships to trade. That makes sense. Send them out and see what they come back with. Out of ten ships sent out, five may actually return, three may have cargo, and one ship might just have such precious cargo that you'll be so glad you sent those ships out.
I've decided that since I don't actually own any ships that I'm going to have to be the one sent out. I'm going to have to go scout out the possibilities, visit new places, learn new things, and then most assuredly I will come home with something. Maybe I won't bring back actual treasure or accumulated funds, but I will certainly come back having had an adventure of a lifetime.