Posted tagged ‘explorers’

“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood.”

March 3, 2017

Winter dropped by last night to remind us not to get giddy about spring. It will have to be patient, to wait its turn. I saw daffodil buds yesterday in my garden. They are still all green but soon enough they’ll flower. I figure winter is beginning to feel rushed.

The swamp around now would still have ice as the water wasn’t very deep. The remaining ice was mostly in the back on the shaded channels which ran between trees and what we called islands. We’d go as far back as we could. In some places we’d walk on the ice and stoop under the trees while in other places we’d have to go on all fours. We explored in the summer too but then we risked getting wet as we had to jump from island to island.

When I was a kid, we were explorers. We walked or rode our bikes all over town. We had favorite places like the field where the two horses grazed, the tracks which both ended and kept going, the zoo, and the dairy farm. I never got tired of trying the catch the horses, but I’m glad I didn’t. I watched the cows.

Growing up when I did was a gift beyond measure. It meant summers of riding my bike, walking all over town or sleeping outside. We were never afraid. Our mothers had taught us to refuse anything a stranger offered so they figured we were safe enough. They were right. I don’t even remember any strangers.

The first time I went to the movie theater at night was an event. I was 10. The movie was a fund-raiser for my girl scout troop. I remember walking around wearing my uniform and feeling important. My parents bought tickets as did most of the other parents. I don’t even remember what the movie was. I just remember feeling older as if I’d just passed a milestone.

Today is cold, 34˚. It is a sunny day which belies the cold. Tonight the low will be 17˚.

“Part of the urge to explore is a desire to become lost.”

March 1, 2014

Snow is coming on Monday. Wow, I’m just so excited. We haven’t had any in at least three days. The weatherman also says it will be cold for most of the week. What a surprise! I was getting so tired of those high 20 degree days.

Today looks washed-out with light but no sun and some blue but mostly gray skies. The breeze is brisk and chilling.

I make all these plans to go places then I decide that being home and warm is the best place to be. Today I haven’t a choice. I have some must do errands. I will, however, award myself in some way for being fearless in the face of frigid cold and winter’s mighty hand.

I am an explorer. Even when I was a kid I explored. On my bicycle I rode all over town. I’d go down roads I hadn’t ever ridden on before. It wasn’t ever to find anything. It was just to see what was there. From high school in Arlington, it was a dime bus ride to Harvard Square down Mass Ave. It was the best of times for Harvard Square. The Orson Wells Theater, the old kiosk and the Wursthaus were still there. Book stores were everywhere. My friends and I explored the square time and time again. We went down one way streets resembling alleys and found hidden places to eat. We walked Harvard Yard. We never tired of spending a dime to get to the Square. We knew we might just find someplace neat, someplace new.

In college, I was no less an explorer but hardly explored. Books and classes took far too much of my time, and each summer I had to work. I was stuck in one place for what seemed like the longest time. I had a few interesting adventures in college and they helped but weren’t quite enough. My need to explore had expanded well beyond my bicycle and Harvard Square. I wanted new places. I wanted to need maps and hear a foreign language. I wanted the chance to be lost.

I am still an explorer, but my boundaries have expanded well beyond what I dreamed when I was ten. I have been lost several times, and I love finding my way. That’s what explorers do.


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