John Muir said, “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
He was an adventurer, an unbound spirit, a roamer. Any time I read snippets or quotes by people that travel, change, or see the world, they always appear fearless. In my mind they are like super heroes charging unfettered into distant lands and situations. I never picture John Muir peering over the edge of a steep trail and being nervous, or scared. I don’t imagine him worrying or having any concerns at all for that matter.
In my mind he, and people like him, are nothing like me.
Tonight, I’m wondering if that can possibly be true? There must have been things that scared him. I may not be able to find anything on Google, he’s a legend and we tend to like our legends less than human, but I’ll bet there were things that made him uneasy, maybe not which hiking pants to wear, but things.
Traveling, exploring, is not easy. It’s a risk in the midst of the unknown. Different languages, customs, norms, food, it is easier to stay home. Some would argue it is safer, but I think that’s silly. I’ve been on my local freeway during rush hour and white water rafting in Costa Rica was far less dangerous and much more fun.
Home isn’t any safer, it’s just familiar, comfortable. I know this, but still, sometimes when I set out I’m a little nervous.
There are unknowns, but my need to see things, learn things, feel something more than just me and my corner, far outweighs my butterfly tummy.
Not everyone can be Indiana Jones, Teddy Roosevelt, Dian Fossey, or John Muir. Some of us keep putting our pack on and roaming around the house doing hiking simulations. Some of us may be a tad bit clumsy even, but we open the door, step outside, and that’s what counts.
If John was in fact a bold traveling beast, then good for him, but I’ll bet he was at least a little jumpy about snakes.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Sleeping Bag.