adventure - daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm
Well, here I am on my latest adventure. The great thing about adventures is that you never know what is going to be around the next turn. Isn’t that the description of life when you really get down to it? I mean we never really know what’s going to be around the next corner no matter how hard we try, how many plans we make or what our imagination conjures up for us.
So, let me begin by saying that a great many parts of yesterday looked nothing like I had imagined. First of all, it was rainy and cold. Not exactly how you want to start an end of summer road trip in a convertible, huh? But, hey, I’m a good sport and the rain wasn’t too bad. It eliminated sun glare and took away the decision of whether or not I wanted to drive down the highway with the top down ☺.
My drive to Salem was great and I had a wonderful albeit brief visit with my friend Tia and her charming little guy, Grayson. Gray just turned 4 months old and has entered that wonderful stage of finding his own voice. (Now isn’t that a great life metaphor? His "conversation" was like an unfettered song and he found great delight in all of the new sounds he is learning to make.) He also cooperated quite nicely and took a little nap so his mom and I could have some grown up girl talk like we did in the ‘old days’.
Following this visit, I hopped back into my car and headed East toward Breitenbush Hot Springs where I had a reservation for the night. When I mentioned here that I was making a "brief stop", I had no idea how brief indeed it would be. Pulling into the gate, I was surprised to find the “welcome booth” empty and the parking lot devoid of any person or car that remotely resembled me. “O.k. This is an adventure”, I told myself. Onward--following the signs to the office.
In the woods I passed many shacks…oops…I think those were the cabins. There were the tents with assorted laundries hanging here and there. I passed the occasional person with no one really making eye contact. Maybe they were meditating? There was a lone man doing some form of martial arts. A couple of holes in the ground with steam escaping and “danger” signs posted. I walked past “The Sacred Path” and came upon the Lodge that definitely looked like it had seen better days. By this time, I was hearing those little “niggles” that said, “Get the heck out of here,” but my stubborn self was saying, “Don’t be a baby. This will be fun. After all, you’ve paid your money. Don’t be so close-minded.” And then I saw them--two naked sagging bodies rising out of the steam and I remembered the literature that said in fine print “clothing at bathing areas is optional at all times.” It suddenly felt like I was surrounded by ‘bathing areas’ and I’m sorry to say, but it was too much adventure for me. I would have turned and run right then but I really had to go to the bathroom…and so, I continued toward the office.
Walking in, there was a striking silver-haired woman with turquoise pipe cleaners wrapped in her hair. I smiled and she gave me “the look”. You know the one. It’s the one that says, “What the heck do you think you’re doing? You don’t belong here.” And she was right, but it still ticked me off that she gave me “the look.” The young man next to her finally said, “Checking in?” He then gave me a map and instructions with the lay of the land. I graciously thanked him, took my parking pass, found the nearest bathroom, walked back to my car, got in and drove away. It was a quick trip indeed ☺.
Nine miles down the road, I stopped at the little corner store; purchased an Oregon map, a liter of Diet Dr. Pepper and some Corn Nuts—knowing that in an hour my prepaid Vegan Meal would be served up in the Lodge after the double gong had been rung to summon me to dinner. Well, not this time. No vegan meal for me. No nighttime Shamanic-healing ceremony. No meditation in the Lodge at 7:00 a.m. Nope not for me. I would be back to Salem by dinnertime.
So, maybe I am not as adventuresome as I like to think I am. Maybe I am a snob. Or maybe this was one of those times to listen to the “niggles.” I was reminded of my yoga teacher who says that sometimes the more courageous thing to do is stop an activity rather than continuing on and injuring yourself. While I did not feel like I was in any danger at Breitenbush…certainly not…I did feel like the effort that would need to be expended to try and enjoy myself was not worth it this time. So here I sit in the Medford Motel 6; five hours closer to my destination of Tiburon and baby Connor. My McDonald’s milkshake made a great dinner last night and you can gain a lot of energy and mileage from 32 ounces of Dr. Pepper and a rockin' play list on I-tunes!
I slept well. I had a little adventure (even though it looked radically different than I planned) and this morning the sun is shining . So, we’ll see what’s down the road today.
I hope you will ponder your life’s adventure today. Are there places you need or desire the courage to step out of a rut that holds you back? Where are the places that staying put or saying no might be the most courageous thing to do?
I’ll see you down the road ☺ !!!