Stepping Onto the Road

So, on the heels of writing a story about a 10-year-old boy who goes on an amazing adventure, I’ve been considering adventures in general.  Most of the time, when I hear the word adventure, I think of some enormous thing, a grand action or feat, like climbing Mount Everest or, as in Eli’s case, hiking through the Amazon rainforest.  But, as summer wanes and school days draw near, I am spending more of my time consulting school supply lists than I am searching through maps or reading about exciting day hikes in the mountains.  

I am, however, embarking on a different kind of adventure.  August 14, the official “my-first-book-is-really-going-to-be-published-O-M-G” release date is only seven short days away and that seems like a pretty HUGE adventure.  Although, to be honest, right now it is feeling more like a challenge.  Writing the book was the fun part.  Now, I am wading through the details of promotion websites and giveaway submissions just to try and get someone to read what I’ve written – I mean, anyone! And, I have to tell you, it’s not fun.  I feel like I am standing in a quagmire of social media advertising and every little move I make is sucking me in deeper!  

My 12-year-old has also spent the last few days in a perpetual state of anxiety.  He is leaving behind his beloved elementary school, a place where he spent the last six years of his school life, and moving on to that ominous land of inbetweens,  JUNIOR HIGH.  When he saw that his school supplies this year included a graphing calculator and that the cross country team practices EVERY MORNING at the crack of dawn, he grimaced and looked as though he himself were contemplating a trip to Everest.

I felt terribly sorry for him, but I also almost laughed out loud because that is the same look that I have on my face every time I sit down to submit my book to another promotional website.  And that made me think, maybe adventure is not just some huge, flashy thing.  Maybe we can have all sorts of adventures just in our daily lives.  Wilfred Peterson wrote that  a person “practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine…through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”

Adventure then, perhaps, is not always just one huge act.  It can also be a collection of small acts, small steps away from the routine, into the unknown.  One of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien, wrote, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  Both my son and I are on the precipice of something new, something different and even the smallest step towards that newness feels like an awfully big adventure.  And, ready or not, it is time to step onto the road!  

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