Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Unusual Life Adventure

Stories connect us with our past as we live our present and plan future adventures. 

Everyone seems to be turning their thoughts to summer now that the month of June is here. School is nearing an end in New York State. Some colleagues have already closed their doors to the school year. Summer reading posts are surfacing and spring is winding down. While today is dark and damp, I am lazily lounging and recalling an unusual summer day from the past to gear up for what is ahead. 

Have you ever heard of the sport of spelunking? Although I am not what you call an adventurous person, I did accept a rather bold invitation years ago when I was a graduate student in Albany, NY. A school friend had a deep attraction to caving and decided one rather humid day in Albany to take a ride to the countryside. The ride was a pleasant one that allowed me time to anticipate what was to come. 

When I arrived at the destination, I found an astonishing sight-one small opening in a jagged rock ready to swallow me in. How would I get through that tiny hole and what would I find deep below the earth's surface? These were questions that I pondered. I tried to voice them but the call of adventure was pressing. 

It is hard to explain the attraction of the cave and even more difficult to imagine me entering the bowels of the earth. With only a helmut and a flashlight as my accoutrements, I entered the cavernous space even though I am claustrophobic in tight spaces. After decades, I am recalling that amazing experience that led to a few more.

There is a sense of wonder
below the earth.
Darkness swallows human existence. 
Daylight is diminished.
Dampness surrounds.
Water trickles, breaking silence.
Fear of the unknown is
surpassed by the tranquility
of cavernous walkways.
All is still within the walls.
All is at rest.
I find a sense of peace.


This video brought back the memories of a few spelunking trips outside of Albany. While spelunking is not an adventure I would try again this summer, I am happy that I had this unique experience that connected me with the earth.

This summer, I am considering ways to to experience the mysterious quality of being and the wonder of tranquility. What adventures await you? 

Now turn your attention to Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life where you will find many more stories to read.