The days we'll tell our kids about. The days we'll look back and say:
"you'll never believe..."
"this one time..."
These are the days when we stay up late and sleep in long. Every moment is captured by a song. We crank the stereo and sing along. We play hard and sleep well and laugh an amount some consider too much. But how much is too much when considering laughter among friends is one of life's greatest gifts?
These are the days when a road trip is just that - a road trip. It's not "let's see if we can beat the time on the GPS," but instead, "let's plan to add four hours to our ETA," planning for unplanned stops along the way.
The journey is the destination and those unplanned stops are whimsical moments. We forge our own paths alongside mountain passes, sliding down muddy paths and falling in cold streams. It seems time stops as we bask in nature's beauty that surrounds all around, blue sky above and leaves cover the ground. Mountains tall and wide and blue, they make us feel small but alive and new. They overwhelm us with their presence.
These are the days when we take time to explore. We wander through small towns and spend money in toy shops on things that remind us of earlier days, forgetting that over the span of life, we are still in those days. We pull off the highway because we must get a picture...and another...and another. We eat in French cafes where everything is homemade and the owner's accent makes us swoon. Ice cream cones are licked in a leisurely moment on the back porch of a general store and for a moment we're transported to 1955. We wonder what kids will say about us in 60 years, what's so normal that they will find bizarre?
We are silly in these days. We wear plaid and cause a scene wherever we go. No joke is out of line when my youth pastor hat is off. We give each other nicknames and scare each other as we come around corners; we buy matching shirts and eat too much sugar. We laugh at the same lines in movies and new jokes and stories we've told a hundred times. The camera is always ready, catching us sleeping and climbing bridges and making faces and living life.
These are the days we're inspired. By time together and time in nature and time spent in silent worlds in our heads, we think and dream and wonder and scheme. Anything seems possible these days. No caper seems too grand to pull, no achievement out of reach when we are here and we are together. We are inspired by each other, by laughter, by love, by God. We want to be better, do better, inspire others to do the same.
These are the days we want to write home about, but where do we start? These moments are too sweet, precious, and rare to capture in any words other than, "You really just had to be there." But that's where we want to live - a moment in time where we are simply there, without explanation, but only a full awareness that this is the moment for which we were created. A moment too special for words, a moment that we can only carry in our hearts and hope to never forget. Photos may capture the sparkle in our eyes, but a lens can't capture the adventure in our hearts.
These are the days when that adventure reminds us how we want to live the rest of our lives. There is a time for school and more school and a first job and second, but that isn't life. The life we want begs for more. It looks like late nights and laughter and unplanned country stores with dirty bathrooms. It longs for respite found on the back porch of a little cabin in north Georgia. It demands that we be present and cherish every step, the ones we planned and the ones we didn't. It doesn't despise traffic detours but welcomes, even embraces, the challenge of discovering a new route. The life we want is an adventure waiting to be taken. It is there, calling us, and we must go. We must go with passion and enthusiasm, by the grace of God and with the people He's given us. It doesn't always have a map, but it promises to be enthralling and exciting.
These are the days life is handing us the keys to adventure...we just need to start the van and hit the road.