This past weekend found my family and I traipsing through uncharted woods engaged in one of the two exciting and frightening enterprises in which we’re currently engaged. My husband wore tall socks and sneakers. The kids wore shorter socks and laced shoes--one even donned a pair of jeans.
Sensible choices, all, considering the unknowns lurking in the wooded depths—ticks, chiggers, leeches—why my first bought of hypochondria was triggered by possible exposure to a rare woods-borne illness following a nature walk in first grade. Having survived a helmetless childhood punctuated by wild bobcat expeditions, reckless urban wanderings, and wanton irresponsibility, I adopted none of the precautions modeled by my loved ones.
I chose to explore a patch of forest on a short list of properties we’re considering for purchase shod in nothing more than a standard issue pair of flip flops and a fresh pedicure. Today my husband’s feet look like an illustration of a bad diagnosis in a dermatology brochure. My kids also exhibit evidence of what appears to be an outbreak of some strain of woods-dwelling poison, doubtless ivy or oak. My own personal itchiness is largely limited to two small legions on my abdomen—the only area, I’d like to point out, that was protected by two layers of material.
They only sense I can make of this irony is philosophical. It seems we humans aren’t the best prognosticators. Sure, we know danger is lurking out there—perhaps behind every tree if we take a literal interpretation of current evidence. But peril often defies our best anticipatory measures. It finds us—or not—despite our efforts to outwit, shield, or defend against it.
So maybe—just maybe—the best approach to life is to slip on your flips and just venture in. To choose to the outlook that’s the most carefree; the one that’s comfortable, fun, and slightly adventuresome. The one that doesn’t think too much about everything that can go wrong, but celebrates the spontaneity of the moment. Of confronting a new path without undue precaution and just as you are. These are the thoughts I bring to bear as I consider the other scary endeavor our family is contemplating.
Some of my long time readers know that I have mentioned the possibility of adoption. Although we are not currently involved in a legal affair that results in anyone changing their name, we are at the threshold of adding to our number on a long term basis that will involve, at a minimum, some new furniture. The same family members who have been reticent about adoption are now strongly supporting a bid for a foreign exchange student. And who’s having the freak out? The woods-wanderer with a penchant for beach wear.
Can I predict everything that could go wrong by deciding to bring another child into our lives? Never. But I think I’ll slide into my favorite footwear and begin the journey.
In Other News:
I recently promised readers a tiny little auction for a great, big cause. It is coming, I promise, but ggod things can't be rushed Look for a mid-week preview followed by the full low-down shortly there after.