Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Adventure Becomes Us July 21, 2013

I knew as soon as we woke up that today would be special. There was a sense of adventure in the air. And, like most emotions, it’s contagious. The funny thing is, I don’t think my forever people were on to me. It was no secret they were excited about something, and as they hustled and bustled around the house I got excited too.

The dreaded suitcase made its way back out, and with it all the supplies for what I recognized as camping. Then mom said the magic word and confirmed my hopes and dreams for the day. Do you want to go camping, Wiley? (Silly mom, always asking me questions she already knows the answer to.) So I watched excitedly as mom and dad packed the car to the brim and off we went.

We drove to a beautiful campsite a few hours away, but as we approached the sense of adventure in the car morphed itself into a sense of impending doom. It was sunny where we came from, but it was dark where we were going. Storm clouds hovered directly over the destination, growing in intensity as we approached. Mom kept a positive attitude, saying over and over that it will be an adventure. Dad didn’t seem convinced.

I whined as I watched them struggle to assemble the tent in the downpour, wishing I could help somehow. It’s okay, mom kept saying to dad, it will be an adventure. Then came defeat. The tent that was to be our safe haven for the next few days contained within it a swimming pool of rain held up by unstable poles in the soggy sand. And down it went.

Something kind of magical happened as we all watched the tent collapse. Right there in the rain, sopping wet and frustrated, mom and dad broke out into the most ruckus laughter I’ve heard from them in a while. It was loud and it kept going and going, as they got more and more drenched. It seemed a little silly to me (I wish they could have enjoyed their laughter with me in the safety and dryness of the car), but it still made my day.

It all reminded me of the words of English novelist George Eliot who challenged that “adventure is not outside a man, it’s within.” That was us today. We were adventure.

When the giggles subsided, they packed up the tent, loaded up the car, and we headed back to the comforts of home. It rained the whole way, but I didn’t mind. I got to spend the entire day with my two favorite people in the whole world. It was among the longest car rides I’ve ever had in a single day. And I could tell they were disappointed, but in my humble opinion it was exactly what my mom wanted. It was an adventure that I’m certain none of us will forget any time soon.

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