Sunday, January 17, 2010

A pretended and very real adventure

I think I scared my friend Stephen when he called earlier this week and asked me if I wanted to go snowshoeing to his cabin on Saturday with some other people. I was maybe just a little too excited and enthusiastic. But I had never been snowshoeing before, and one resolution I made for this winter was to learn how to do it. It sounded very romantic and intrepid.

And it lived up to my expectations. Almost. But you can't blame the shoes or Stephen or the cabin or the snow for my very slight disappointment. It's just that when I think of snowshoeing I imagine a group of intrepid Arctic explorers and scientists braving trackless wilderness and hostile temperatures and boldly going where (and boldly seeing what) no man has ever dared to before. Some part of me knows that my flights of adventurous fancy can't hold up in reality, but I still can't help but imagine.

But after getting me into the fix of unrealistic wishes, my imagination always comes to the rescue and helps me pretend that all of my Corps-of-Discovery dreams really are coming true. I didn't imagine the moose we saw, though. So, yes, while we walked for only ten minutes before we got to his cabin, and yes, while the only exploring we did was mostly on a trail and it was cut short because we were cold and tired and hungry, I could still pretend that I had been roughing it for 2 weeks and was putting my survival at risk in the name of adventure and academic discovery. Which explains the ridiculous grin I had on my face the entire day and the huge fur hat I insisted on wearing.

Yep, I grin with giddy surmise any time there is a chance that my life is at risk and I am on a Columbus-crazy exploratory journey.

Overall, the day was wonderfully fun between my imagination and very-real sledding through an obstacle course of trees. We played and played and played and now I am sore and physically exhausted. It was especially wonderful considering that last year I was under doctor's orders to not exert myself even to throw a snowball due to my recovering from surgery. This time, I exerted myself like a bandit. So there.

But this does raise important questions: how much of life do I enjoy because I am not bound to the here-and-now-life? I say I'm an optimist, but am I just delusional and dreamy? Should I try and be more realistic and grounded and be content with what life actually is, or should I not restrain myself and enjoy life as it could be, as I imagine the potential of it to be?

1 comment:

  1. Both. If is not just one or the other; there are two sides of an experience: what happens and how you perceive and react to it. Being excited about the seemingly ordinary isn't delusional. Every day really is a miracle, taking into account how amazing our bodies and the ability we have to experience everything. And remember that you just came back from India. Your dreams can't as impossible as all that.