I lived out my word of the year (adventure) pretty well this past weekend, while we were in Fayetteville for the 4th. While we've done Walk for the Waiting (a charity mile that raises funds for fostering/adoption in Arkansas) all-four-together, it was still a new experience to do Four on the Fourth (which supports homeless veterans) with my parents. My dad ran the four miles, and Mum and I walked - we were supposed to turn around at the half mile mark, but we doubled that since we didn't want to hang around the finish line awkwardly waiting for Dad. It rained the whole time, but we shamelessly carried umbrellas and made a grand time together out of what would have been a somewhat dismal experience alone.
My uncle, aunt, and cousins were in town, so one evening while we waited for it to be dark enough for sparklers my cousins and I set about catching a jar of fireflies. As a kid, I always wanted to fill a jar with some many fireflies that they could act as a lantern, but I never succeeded. We didn't manage that this time, either, but it was great fun anyway.
Tobin and Brooklyn discovered swim suits and jumping on the trampoline, and Tobin learned that dirt is not good to eat, but if your hands are covered in dirt it's not possible to clean your mouth out with them after tasting it. He spent several minutes with his muddy tongue hanging out while we scrambled to find something to clean him up with.
We all went out to Terra Studios, and I was able to share that part of my childhood with Adam and Brooklyn and Tobin. It's changed a lot since I was a kid, but they still make "bluebirds of happiness" in a room with a huge window so you can watch them swiftly forming little bird statues out of molten glass, and there are clay creatures tucked away everywhere for people to stumble onto.
To appease the introvert within, I spent one (unexpectedly) early morning going on a mostly solitary coffee run (Tobin is a fairly quiet companion, and he was regretting having woken us up at 5am) and rounded it out with a trip to my favorite farmer's market with a friend who happened to be in town. We talked about things both deep and silly, and it was altogether refreshing.
While I am often aggravated at the way my fellow countrymen behave, I'm grateful for the freedom to pursue reconciliation and co-creation, even in the face of recent tragedies. To be able to speak out against injustice, and to pursue a future where everyone is free.