I’ve been thinking about adventure, lately. Like, how in the soul and mind of a person there exists a deep need to discover new things and experience life at its basest levels, down in the dirt. A lot of people, at least. Then, I think that, as I type this in my office, in a comfy chair, on a computer…I hope I am not losing touch with real adventure.
With the onslaught of the internet and the information-at-your-fingertips age, there is less of a need to get out and see things, do things, since all I need to do if I want to know about a thing—say killdeer and their nesting habits—is to spin up the ol’ interwebs and ask Siri or Google or Alexa. I don’t even have to leave the house. Which is sad, in a way.
Forty years ago, if you wanted to know something about something, at the very least you probably had to leave your house and head to a library (that’s a building with tons of books) where you had better know how to use the Dewey Decimal system (that’s a cataloguing system for books), and you’d better have some time to spend because it was going to take a while. Or, you could talk to someone who knows about the thing. As a last resort, you could put on your boots-made-for-walkin’ and hike into the woods or downtown or whathaveyou.
One hundred and forty years ago, you might have a library nearby if you lived a town near some Carnegies. Most likely, you found out stuff for yourself. So, most every day was an adventure on some scale. Maybe the average Thursday didn’t involve building a house out of materials you dragged out of the woods yourself, or shooting a bear to protect your livestock, or shooting outlaws, or taking the train out West to stake your claim (I’ve been reading a lot of Louis L’Amour stories recently…in case you were wondering). Or, maybe it did. I wasn’t there.
Anyway, I’ve been feeling kind of convicted lately about how little adventure is in my own life, and how I need to do more to bring some adventure into my kids’ lives. Sure, it can’t/won’t be too similar to the Great Adventure of the American Old West, or going on a Safari somewhere on the African continent, but it can be something like finding a killdeer nest in the backyard. Or, learning to skip rocks into a lake. Or, even something as cliché as flying a kite. I guess it’s really about the attitude, right? Cultivating an adventurous heart. Teaching my kids to be curious about life outside Netflix and these four walls.
Of course, one has to avoid the trappings of social media, and kill the feels of “Is this good enough for Instagram?” and “I only got 4 likes on Facebook” and “everyone on Twitter hates me now.” In fact, who cares. I need to live my life for ones I love, not to entertain the internet.
It was my son’s last day of kindergarten today, so we took him out to breakfast. He wanted to wander the docks by the river, but I needed to get back to work, so we had to raincheck that. At least he wanted to check it out…a good sign. Maybe I’ll try to drag him on a bike ride later this evening.
Guess I’d better start planning some small and big adventures for this summer. I want my kids to remember that we tried to do cool things, made the effort to see life from a different lens than a TV or smartphone screen—you know, like the lenses on our eyeballs.
Don’t worry; I’ll post photos.