The world is an amazing place. When you’re a kid you’ll act on impulse and if there’s something to be explored, you go after it. This weekend Toddler Harbat spied a treehouse in our friends’ back yard and in a flash she was headed for the ladder. Never mind the old lumber with rusty nails hooking out of it and ready to grab a soft hand, her mind was made. As an adult you run through a tedious checklist involving safety items, convenience, schedule of time in treehouse vs. time before a nap, social niceties of using someone else’s treehouse, safety considerations again because that railing looks a bit wobbly. BORING! “Babbo I wanna go up in the treehouse!” Up she went.
As she climbed above me I noticed she’d put her underwear on sideways. Listen, explorers don’t need to follow society’s rules on fashion.
Before the treehouse adventure I’d been on a long mountain bike ride, doing my own exploration. I’ve found an open space preserve with miles of tracks through canyons, broad grassy plains, and through rocky scenery and during my ride each trail tempted me to veer off and explore. One track was deep red dust snaking down a hillside through chaparral and past home-sized boulders in repose atop grassy hillocks. Another criss-crossed a cobble-strewn creek bed in exhilarating banked swoops. Others teased me away from the main trail in tire-width meanders into canyons and through cottonwood valleys.
Exploration should be a childlike experience. Try to let go of some of the checklists and give yourself permission to follow your nose. You’ve no idea what you’ll find but the journey will be magical.