Green

Or brown, depending on the time of year. Seldom white. Often swathes of red clay. These are my primary memories of road trips over the last several years.

Enter car. Fall asleep. Wake briefly a few times. And tada! Arrived. Exit car.

Last weekend, my family took a road trip. We traveled the Talimena Scenic Drive from our home to Talihina, Oklahoma, to Mena, Arkansas, across what we flat landers affectionately call mountains, and back home.

In times past, my remembered view would have been something like this:

Exhibit A

Hazy green washed across my window.

Last weekend, my view included this:

And of course scenes of my frolicking children and long suffering husband, but you all know I don’t share those in this place.

More than pics, I have memories. Solid mental objects to hold and examine. And hopefully my family has more of me in their memories of our eight-hour tour.

I’ve said it too many times in the last several months, but I’ll indulge in saying it still…being awake is wild. To adventures, large and small! May you find safe adventures even in the time of Covid.

The Reinvention of Me: The Adventurer

In my youth, I was a worrier. In my young adulthood, I was a worrier. In my early parenthood, I was a worrier. I don’t remember a time in my life that did not excessively worry.

So I did not go on that trip to D.C., nor did I go on a mission trip or study abroad during college. There was a time right after law school that I wanted to practice in another country and be a useful part of the local church in that place. But I didn’t pursue it.

My family on the other hand, well, they are adventurous. My parents took a 100% traveling job while I was in college. The lived in an RV and traveled the contiguous U.S. and Canada. They worried me.

My sister went on Let’s Start Talking campaigns and studied for a semester in South America during her college tenure. Then, right after she married, she moved to Seattle. She has traveled alone, with friends, and with her nuclear family to faraway places. She worried me.

My brother and his family also traveled a bit but knew how to take an adventure in their own backyard, so to speak, through hunting and rodeo and all manner of hijinks. They worried me.

My husband played for his high school band, traveling to Europe to tour. He also toured a bit in college with the band. He is competitive and loves being active. He has often talked of skydiving, hang gliding, base jumping, and the like. He adores rollercoasters. He worried me.

And then, this year, I said I was fearless. And I became certainly more fearless than I had once been. Big spiders, man, they’re impossible.

About a week after I first said I was fearless, I found myself daydreaming about adventures. I thought with longing about traveling to distant shores. I imagined mountain climbing, learning to swim, doing cool stuff in cool places. Now I consider things like scuba diving and instead of paralyzing fear, I feel fascinated, intrigued, eager.

I also wonder whether I would actually follow through if I had these opportunities. I believe I would. More importantly, I’d like to find out.