But before all that happened, I needed to have an adventure. I guess it had been a while? Usually, to my mother’s terror, I seek adventure. Not this time. I was in a pensive mood. I wanted to think and just soak nature in. After jogging and sitting for a while at the beach, my plan was to follow the shore to the end of the reserve, go back up to the road and do a loop back to the monastery. After an hour, I was finding no such “end.” I came to cove after beautiful cove, making my way past rock formations, the forest, sand and white driftwood piles, when suddenly the next cove could not be reached by the beach and there was no path in sight. I climbed up to the forest and finally found a path heading in the other direction. Though I detest turning back, I did. Because like I said, I was not in the mood for adventure.
Adventure found me. The supposed path going in the direction back to the entrance of the reserve began to curve. It continued to curve. Next thing I knew I was going in the complete opposite direction. THE ONE TIME I DID THE NOBLE THING AND TURNED AROUND. So much for retracing my steps.. I found myself not next to the shoreline but in the deep forest, in a completely different scenery than the one before. Everything was green. Then the spiderwebs began. It seemed like every step led me into another the invisible trap, untouched since who knows when. “You don’t have to be worried about snakes here,” I remembered Mother Mary Grace telling me, “Just brown recluses.” “Those are the really bad ones, right?” I asked her while taking a break from roofing several weeks ago. “Oh yeah, they can kill you,” she said nonchalantly before returning to her laundry. With each web I touched, the words repeated over and over in my head until I started running as if I were in football practice. I was so fierce that a deer leaped out of the bushes and hightailed it the other way. I don’t know who was more scared of who at the time.
Eventually I got to a semblance of a road. Eventually I got to a semblance of a gate.Eventually I emerged from the thick forest to find myself in the middle of a golden field of wheat. I then felt like Gladiator.
Fast forward 15 more minutes, past the random goat on the road, and I finally saw something I recognized: a very nice house. No, not the monastery, but a neighbor on the back side of the property. I started running. How I had gotten there, I had no idea. But suddenly I felt like I was returning home after a very long journey. And, after running through our plowed hay field and down the path past the chapel and past the grazing land, after a shower and new clothes, after two glasses of water, I found myself in Vespers, recognizing life is an adventure we don’t always sign up for.