I got lost on vacation. It wasn't anything serious, although for awhile there I imagined my face popping up on one of those AP articles when you log onto your Yahoo email account. Here's what happened: I went for a run one morning and instead of going down the main road, I went behind the house we were staying in, and into the woods.
I realize that was my first mistake. Going into the woods is comparable to scuba diving. Everything starts to look the same. In scuba diving, you don't know which way is up or down, whereas when you're in the woods you don't know which way is left or right. And when I write "you" I mean me. I'm no John Krakauer for crying out loud. Although I did write him once to tell him how much I loved his book about that kid who ran off to Alaska and he wrote me back! John Krakauer, not the kid. The kid died. It's very sad. I'm digressing.
I ran off into the woods because when I started out on the main road there was a bear-like dog having a fit in regards to me running towards his territory. So I turned around and ran like h-e double hockey sticks into the woods.
(Readers of this blog know I'm terrified of bees, but I'm also afraid of dogs. Yes, really.)
I think it's safe to conclude from reading the previous paragraphs that I am not an outdoors person. My idea of "roughing it" is sitting outside at a restaurant with kids. I know nothing about being outside which leads to panic and overreaction. So while I was running around what probably was a five foot patch of land with lots of trees, I was getting a little scared. OK I was a lot scared. And maybe I was crying a little bit but it could've been sweat. I'm not sure.
Jesse's uncle found me. Actually, he and his wife (Jesse's aunt) were a bit concerned that I might not know where I was going because we'd arrived at their place in the dark and I'd yet to scope the place out in daylight. Rookie mistake. So at a point when they either had to assume I was training for a marathon or lost, he decided to go out looking for me. We laughed it off as he showed me the way home.
I've been lost before. I got lost on the way home from Kindergarten once. In high school it took me a good six weeks to remember where my locker was. I was lost at Calvin too, but that was more metaphorical.
Being lost makes me uncomfortable. I don't pay attention too well when I'm uncomfortable. I think, I'm no good in this place, or, I'm not going to try this again. I think that's the real danger. Letting one experience determine what you can and cannot do.
I think in most cases, it's always good to go back and take a second, or third, or thirty-sixth look.
Enough times as it takes until I've begun to pay attention again:
to the excitement one child has for holding a fish, and the fact that the other just wants to throw it back in water...
...and then taking those blueberries home and scouring recipes for blueberry scones, tarts, pies, and smoothies...
Because eventually, you get comfortable. You start paying attention. You decide to try new things.
Like ride around a lake on a bicycle built for two.
I can't really be lost with family. Whether it's with my in-laws or the Lewises and Ayanoglous. They've always made me feel at home. The great thing about that is when it's time to go off on my own, I have the confidence to check out that new place and see what's what.
It's good to get lost every now and then.