To adventure. When I was young, guided by my imagination and the books I read, I adventured.
My siblings and I laid planks between tree limbs and called them forts. We pinned blankets over the dome jungle gym and called it a tent. We dropped charcoal briquettes into freshly dug holes to bake potatoes and became frontiersmen. We walked the railroad tracks, our sandwiches tied in bandanas hanging from sticks, and called ourselves hobos. We built toboggan slides and became Olympic athletes. I read Jack London’s Call of the Wild and imagined a life in the far north where snowshoes and dog sleds would take me where I needed to go. I traveled to my grandfather’s cabin in the hills west of Duluth, Minnesota, and decided I must live off the land. I read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and we built a raft that carried us nowhere on Kinnikinnick Creek. I read the tales of fur traders and voyageurs and learned to paddle a canoe….
To adventure. A simple infinitive suggesting infinite possibilities.
Later in life, sensing that something meaningful was missing, the paleontologist Loren Eiseley wrote—
As adults we are preoccupied with living. As a consequence, we see little…I am not the first man to have lost his way only to find, if not a gate, a mysterious hole in a hedge that a child would know at once led to some other dimension at the world’s end.
To adventure. As an adult, I adventure. I step outside my front door and pull out my bicycle, or fasten on my snowshoes, and head down the road or across the snow-covered field.
I go alone or with my children when they are visiting.
We seek everything and nothing in particular. Shadows and sunlight; the interesting and the unexpected.
As when children, as adults we adventure. We step outside. We begin. We seek the mystery that leads, as Eiseley wrote, to some other dimension at the world’s end.
Eiseley, Loren. “The Innocent Fox.” Collected Essays on Evolution, Nature, and the Cosmos, Vol. 1. Ed. William Cronon, 376. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, 2016.
Photography by Tobias Mann, Adventurebent.com.