When I was a kid – long before cable television, before video games, or DVDs, or the Internet – my friends and I played outside. All. Day.
We’d leave home after breakfast, only coming home for lunch, then heading back out again until it was dark. We had bikes to ride, games to play, balls to throw.
We’d roam around the forest, picking wildflowers and finding tiny treasures of stone and wood. There were competitions at the playground to see who could swing the highest, then jump out of the seat.
As I got older, other things occupied my time – school, friends, boys, books, work – and getting outside, escaping into the woods to explore and pretend, wasn’t so important any longer.
Today, I have a family and pets to tend, carpets to vacuum, shelves to dust, dishes and clothes to wash, bills to pay, and meals to cook. There’s little time for play.
Yet… it’s even more important now to find an outlet, to make time to escape. Each weekend I leave behind my chores and obligations, leaving home after breakfast and not heading back until dinner.
I find woods to explore, and dunes to climb, pretending I’m a traipsing through never before seen wilderness. I wander the empty corridors of a long, empty fort, or among ancient cemetery stones, imagining past lives of piracy or country building. I am a kid again, playing make-believe, escaping from the predictability of a settled life.
Today is my weekly photo hike, and I haven’t decided yet where I’ll go, but wherever it is, I’ll make is a grand adventure.