HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns

August 27, 2007

Embracing the ordinary may lead to adventure


Let’s face it, life can be dismal, boring, and of course, routine.

It’s one of those facts of life that you become more aware and certain of with age, as reality unfolds and your days are filled with responsibilities.

There is, however, always a chance for a change in habit – it could storm, the front could change, and adventure could be in the forecast.

This week felt this way as I looked over my schedule for the remainder of the summer – work every day for the rest of the summer.

Not only was there the reality that summer was beginning to dwindle, and school was in the countdown – but I knew what I’d be doing every day: serving fried food to kids at a country club. Not my idea of “going out with a bang.”

But as life would have it, the unexpected happened. The fronts changed (literally) and adventure burst into my life.

Monday is usually the most dull and drab part of a week – and this one seemed more arduous than usual. As the time crept by, and the air gathered more moisture, forming a suffocating thickness, I planned my evening.

I decided to move some things down to my new apartment, to prepare for school – a menial task, but something to do, nonetheless.

After work, I loaded up my car and headed to the city; dark clouds threatened rain in the distance – which I paid no mind to. I was focused on my plan: move in, go see an outdoor movie in the park, and then retire early for my early morning shift at a café.

Fortunately, nothing went according to plan.

The movie was “rained out,” when really, the wind picked up, they got scared of the promised lightning, and decided to call the whole thing off. This was a momentary disappointment, but my friends and I moved on.

Instead of watching a movie, we decided to watch the storm roll in, even though we were quite skeptical of its presence because these things usually blow over.

We were wrong.

Two of my friends and I decided to take a stroll along the park – we were getting too antsy waiting for it to rain. As we were walking, a couple of heavy, warm drops of rain bombarded our conversation, but were quickly ignored due to the scarcity of their presence.

Then it happened, the cloud burst, and it poured.

The volume of water was so immense that it felt like we were swimming. Along the curb near my friend’s apartment building, the water had grown to a depth that touched my knees – the perfect depth to splash around in.

Now usually, my first reaction to rain is to take cover, to find a place warm and dry until the wetness is far, far away, but not this night.

My friends and I danced our hearts out for over an hour. With each new drop, more and more reservation was washed away, leaving five adults stripped down to the child in their hearts. With smiles pasted across each of our faces, we let go of everything.

For what seemed like forever, we stopped thinking about what day it was, what time it was, what responsibilities we may have had, and the sleep we were going to lose. We just danced and lived completely and full-heartedly in the moment.

These are the nights worth dreaming about, which rarely arrive, but we embraced the moment and had a taste of pure bliss, even if it dissolved when the rain stopped, the breeze picked up, and we were shivering from the cold.

The storm calmed down and we returned to the warmth of an apartment, but with a new sense of security, a new feeling that is not often reached: contentment.

Embrace the ordinary – who knows, it could be the catalyst to an adventure.