I’ve been struggling with what to write about this week. For some reason I’m not feeling very wordy, or poetic, or thoughtful. But then I saw a movie advertisement online and inspiration hit!
When you’re a child, a towel tied around a your neck can become a cape that helps you fly or a bike ride through a cemetery at night becomes a harrowing escape from ghosts. But, where do those ideas come from? Would a child be afraid of riding her bike through the cemetery if she hadn’t read or heard something like that before? I don’t know. But, I do know that what we read informs our imagination and leads us on adventures. So, what was your first taste of adventure?
I read a lot as a child (and still do). I read a wide range of books, everything from The Babysitter’s Club to books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and one of my all time favorites, Little Women.
But when I was six, on the nights when he didn’t have class, my dad read The Hobbit to me as my bedtime story. I can’t imagine a scenario where that book wouldn’t plant ideas of adventure in a reader’s mind. Now, did I remember every detail of the story from when my dad read it to me? No. I was six. And there were lots of extraneous conversations involved about “reading it right!” My dad sorely wanted to do all the voices and I wouldn’t let him; I was a willful child.
But I digress.
When the book was finished and I started reading more and more on my own, I may not have remembered all of the details, but I remembered a group of companions traveling in order to recapture their homeland. I remembered hobbits, who seemed to live wonderful lives in their houses with the round doors and fully stocked kitchens. I remembered a wizard dressed in gray who provided me my first taste of magic; something I still enjoy reading and writing about to this day.
But most of all, I remembered the adventure. The travel to distant lands, and the encounters with new people and species. I remembered a man named Bilbo who went against the nature of a hobbit and stepped outside his round front door and went on a adventure. How his life changed with that one decision! And it had a lasting impact on him, and his family (although I wouldn’t know about Frodo until years later). Just knowing that books like this existed made me want to keep reading so I could follow more characters on their journeys; and it inspired me to have journeys of my own.
So, I guess my question is this. What was your first taste of adventure?