Tag Archives: adventure

Under a woman’s authority.

For I remember with certainty this fixed psychological fact; that the very time when I was most under a woman’s authority, I was most full of flame and adventure. Exactly because when my mother said that ants bit they did bite, and because snow did come in winter (as she said); therefore the whole world was to me a fairyland of wonderful fulfillments, and it was like living in some Hebraic age, when prophecy after prophecy came true.

I went out as a child into the garden, and it was a terrible place to me, precisely because I had a clue to it: if I had held no clue it would not have been terrible, but tame. A mere unmeaning wilderness is not even impressive. But the garden of childhood was fascinating, exactly because everything had a fixed meaning which could be found out in its turn. Inch by inch I might discover what was the object of the ugly shape called a rake; or form some shadowy conjecture as to why my parents kept a cat.

-G.K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy

(From Emily at Children of God blog)

I forgot that story already.

If only I were better at writing funny stories – I’ve had such good material for them the last couple of weeks! When the “funny” things are happening — i.e., the crazy days when I lose my keys, forget my phone, break a crown on my tooth, spend half the day on a cooking project that turns out barely edible, spend the other half driving back and forth to appointments or making fruitless business calls, and at the end of it all get stood up by my computer guy — my writer’s mind tries weakly to do its usual thing of organizing chaos into sentences, but only in synaptic spasms. And what exactly is humorous about this, anyway…? The exhaustion is total, and I only want to go to bed early.

The next day, if it is a recovery day — and I definitely haven’t had enough of those lately — I often do realize the hilarity of life, in retrospect. But I’m not a comedian, and when I start to relate my wonderment at how many things can go wrong, or I should say, how inconvenient adventures can be, it just sounds like a complaint. And if I did write my funny story, where would I put my beautiful flower pictures?

I thought of this once more after Columbus Day, which was fairly long and involved with things not going as planned. And I was feeling the deadline I was under, to leave town, and to get all my affairs in a good state so I could be away and not worry. When the problems were solved and I was all alone again, I found rest in writing about how a poem and my garden worked together to give me the needed R&R. I guess trying to write a funny story would be too challenging, a chore I don’t know how to tackle. My garden is easy, and writing (anything but humor) is my favorite kind of work.

I soon forget the germs of those funny stories, because they are so quickly superseded by compelling tales of birdsong and burst milkweed pods, babies dropped fresh from Heaven, and bread dough rising.


Oh, but I have to tell you why I am going to be away from home! I am right now flying to Colorado with that new Baby Clara herself. Don’t worry, her mother and her brothers are with us. Clara’s father will meet us at the airport, and I will stay to help them out in their new town for a while. More stories are on the way.

A good traveler has no fixed plans.

gl11-img_3532crpThe cold mornings hit this week, but the fog always lifts in time for a walk under blue skies. On one of  those days, I was only warm for the hour when I was walking down the path with the sun on my back.

Always something different to see, and why should I be surprised? But I always am! I saw two plants I didn’t know yesterday; maybe one of my readers can help me identify them.img_3566

What seems to be a lily in the seed-forming stage.gl11-img_3567

And a bush with fuzzy seeds.



I was so relaxed, I dinked around and took forever to get home (to the house with not enough windows). I even sat on this bench for a while and noticed things. The last time I enjoyed the view from that spot I was with my late husband, almost two years ago. Normally on my walks now, I just walk.


Back in my own yard, blooms hang on to the newly-planted echinacea. This week I set out Iceland poppies, and will soon put up more trellising for the various peas. I’m trying to get things in order here before I leave next week on a trip across the country. There is so much to do I shouldn’t really take the time to compose blog posts, but that strategy seems to work about as well as if I would stop eating for lack of time.

So far I don’t feel anxious about the deadline by which all my preparations must be made, before my departure. Maybe that’s because I still have a few days, and they aren’t packed with other activities to work around. I bought new luggage for this trip, not only practical, but fun. That’s a first-time experience already.  🙂

“Money spent on good-quality gear is always money well spent.”
-Tahir Shah, In Search of King Solomon’s Mines

Before I get on the plane I’ll try to share specifics about this upcoming journey. I read some of my old blog posts yesterday to find out to what degree I’ve already repeated myself in my past travelogues. Often I have a hard time relating to the author of the articles, and I think to myself, “That girl has eaten way too much dark chocolate!” When I am on an expedition farther than my own neighborhood with its familiar insects and flowers, my brain starts playing Beethoven symphonies instead of Chopin nocturnes.


Much of the inspiring travel writing out there appeals to the me that once was, in the most energetic and healthy time of life — but when I actually lived in that era and body I was involved in much more thrilling and satisfying work than wandering to and fro among strangers. I was a young wife and mother, and that experience was adventurous to the max, requiring all of my resources and spunk.

People write as though you haven’t really traveled unless you go with no itinerary and no destination, to be surrounded by strangers – whom you would, of course, find to be kind. I do have experience traveling alone among strangers whose language I didn’t know, and they weren’t all careful of my welfare. In the decades since, in the interest of preserving the health and enjoyment of my family, I have focused on thoroughly preparing for journeys. It won’t prevent unexpected events, things “going wrong,” we hope in ultimately harmless ways, and ideally making for good stories to tell. Adventure is a relative concept, I suppose.

I am not averse to meeting new people on my travels, but mostly I hit the road or climb on the plane with the goal of seeing a familiar face at the end of my trip. I have the goal, but don’t hold on to it too tightly. Anything can happen, and long before I take my seat on the airplane I give myself into the care of many people who are capable of goofing up. When I get to my destination I will let my hosts take care of me and determine my schedule.

I can’t travel anywhere that God isn’t.  Maybe that is the main reason why every morning my brain will be excited and my heart will be at peace, and I will feel like an adventurer.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”  -Lao Tzu