Today is a re-post because I am on vacation. Happy Labor Day, and I pray you put away your phones and gadgets as you spend time with friends and loved ones.
My friend told me she took away her sons video games—all of them. She says this with a big grin on her face. She noticed a difference in her sons memory and behavior with prolonged playing. I applaud her efforts. The video games are different now. They show more blood. They glory in battles, bloodshed, and hate. It is another addiction. Where’s the adventure?
Even in the city I made an adventure of it. The intertwining streets were massive roads to somewhere exotic guarded by the most fearsome faces. I loved my walks to the library a few blocks away. It had this massive amphitheater downstairs. I faintly recall enjoying Hans Christian Anderson stories there. For a moment, I could escape my reality and step into the shoes of a hero. Children now live their imaginary adventures through bright flashing images on a television screen while chomping on fritos. Did you ever read Tom Sawyer and thrill at his adventures with Injun Joe? Or did you ever read the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew and jealously wish you were just like them?
Adventures are not just for kids. A writer can have an adventure at any time of the day. If my eyes get distant and my face goes blank, I am not present. Something you said just caught my attention and I am weaving a story around it. I find the most magical moments are moments not witnessed by busy people. If I take my walk, I notice the bare bones of the trees reaching their gnarled arms up into the sky as if in worship. The wind bites as it nears winter, kicking up the dead leaves on the ground, and just for fun, throwing them at my face. Or watching foot trails become rushing creeks when a cloud breaks and the lightening cuts through the sky.
Oh, to wile away the hours beneath the arms of an aspen tree! Or to watch the leaves fly in the face of a gusty wind and rain around you. It is as magical as winter’s first snow fall. A road is an adventure. An impromptu hike is an adventure made more magical when you are standing in a silent forest listening for animals, hunting for squirrels, and suddenly you turn by instinct and see a herd of fifteen or twenty doe moving through the creek. Your mouth drops open. Your eyes widen. Your heart is lightened; nature at its most silent and best. Those awesome beasts walking as silent as when a leaf falls from the tree. No one hears it land.
How does an unconventional person like myself fit? On one hand I enjoy receiving spa treatments, wearing jewelry, make-up, and hate bad hair days like any other woman. On the other hand, I am a tom boy who loves the feel of the dry desert dirt or the rich forest soil sifting through my fingers. I love the stinging cold rain on my cheeks. I love the feel of a nicely honed weapon in my hands aimed at dinner. I love my house to reflect my love for everything out of doors. I love to camp in the snow. I love to share the awe inspiring quiet of a fiery sunset with my husband standing next to me. Ultimately, I love the fact I can kill, skin, and cook my own rabbit. Is there another woman out there who loves this, too? Let the video games gather dust. Have an adventure of your own in a book, in your own story, or on foot in a great forest. Use your imagination.