Or nothing. I love this quote. As a child I found myself drawn to the stories of Helen Keller’s life. She dealt with multiple disabilities throughout her life while at the same time making an extraordinary mark on this world. When I see this quote it’s often used as a caption for a picture of someone doing something fun like skydiving, off-roading or taking a spin in a lovely hot air balloon. Being one to “over think” once in a while… I wonder, is this really what Helen had in mind?
I’m sure Helen enjoyed good times as well as the next girl experiencing some treks of her own. But, when she penned these words, was she thinking about the challenges that everyday life brings? Drawing from her own daily life experiences did she find adventure in living without what most take for granted? I believe she did. Maybe that’s why this quote means so much to me. It reminds me of the adventures of my life living as a single woman with a disability. I’m not a tree climber, skydiver, or off-roader kind of girl. Though I almost went up in a hot air balloon once but the weather turned foul and shut down the whole romantic gesture. Anyway…
Sometimes I’m amazed at my own life and accomplishments. Living with cerebral palsy ain’t easy but it’s an adventure. I live by myself, take care of a home that I own and do everything for myself, pretty much. Once upon a time I had a husband… now I’ve got a handyman. Sometimes daily life seems overwhelming but I know I’m not alone. I know the struggles of others. Sometimes they feel like they can’t make it through another day because depression looms like the deepest black thundercloud. Still they press through. I’ve been privileged to walk beside someone when there is no cure and have prayed for a miracle. Some of the most generous people in my life have less than I have ever known and still they know they are blessed.
To hope without ceasing in the face of adversity is a daring adventure; to stop playing tug of war with God and follow his path for my life is a daring adventure. Loving God who is wild about me and who is always pursuing me is a daring adventure. My relationship with God feels risky, even dangerous at times… adventure.
I’ve spent years scolding myself for not being very adventurous, as if my every day life and the people that God has put in my path and the experiences that he has blessed me with are not enough. I was wrong. It takes courage, strength and guts to live an authentic life. It’s not for the faint of heart to live facing loss, disappointment and even regret without all the thrills, frills and adrenaline rushes that the world says we deserve, offering a way of escape because life can’t possibly be worth living without taking advantage of all the excitement and excess. I want to try something different. I’m tired of being a seeker… I want my simple choices to be enough.
While I may never make it to Paris in the spring, climb a really huge mountain or have a book on the bestseller list … my heart still has high hopes for a hot air balloon ride.