Adventure Into the Ordinary

Adventure is a must. Our souls long for it, need it, can’t be fully alive without it. It is wild sails whipping, water splashing, bows cutting swaths of salty sea on the everyday routine of life. It is sparkly-eyed curiosity racing toward the unknown, bold imagination unafraid of the staid, and a willing heart ready to try and do, hear and see, go and taste, experience and be. While the “whatever” shrug yawns on the side, true adventure embraces whatever is for all it’s meant to be and more, expectantly pressing forward for the treasured moments it’s sure to find. And find them it does, in the most unexpected and ordinary of places.

There is no doubt that adventure, in its safari-clad stereotype, calls loudest to us through such visions as scuba diving shark-infested ships off Pacific Islands, strolling the sunset-laden streets of Salzburg while eating hand-rolled baklava from Greece, or learning to walk on coals in Zimbabwe before hang gliding over Machu Picchu. But while adventure calls out the obvious on the front side, it quietly, mischievously, with twinkling eyes, opens the side door to the hidden, beckoning those who have ears to hear and eyes to see to pass through and find the adventure ready and waiting in the extraordinary, not-even-close-to-ordinary, every day.

And lucky for us, College Park has side doors galore!

Whenever we accept the invitation of a sky-blue day to open the sunroof, roll down the windows and drive along our bumpy brick streets without any destination in mind, adventure awaits. Away from the barriers of glass or agenda, we’ll rediscover fresh air and egrets, newly renovated homes and long-standing favorites. We’ll note again how the historic walks in step with the new, and we’ll fall in love with 32804 all over again.

Adventure happens every time we pause and listen to our elderly neighbor, try a smile when passing walkers, or stop to watch a cardinal build its nest. It’s picking up our child from school and surprising him with a quick stop at Dunkin’ Donuts, sitting still on the front porch for as long as we can so the dragonfly that landed on our roses won’t leave before we’ve gotten thoroughly acquainted, and it’s taking dinner down to the lake on a Monday night. It’s biking to the park by a different route and following the curve to see what’s around the corner. It’s exploring a shop we’ve passed a hundred times, trying a new class or look, dessert or book. It’s daring to step into, or out of, a relationship, to walk alone to hear our thoughts and enter the deeper questions. It’s choosing to skateboard or paint, try a new sport or climb a tree. It’s throwing a serendipitous dance party in our too-small living room and pretending we’re in a Paris apartment. It’s talking to the owner of the cafe, the stranger in the shop, our teenage daughter. It’s opening our eyes and ears, hearts and hands to the beauty of life all around.

The best adventures come when we take time to celebrate the simple and explore the ordinary. It happens when we dwell deeply in the dot of the here and now, enjoying and experiencing all it has to offer instead of rushing off to live what’s coming next. Lucky for us, there is no better “here” for dot-dwelling than College Park, no better “now” than this moment, so adventure away, and let the ordinary make your life more fully alive in a beautiful and extraordinary way!

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