One of the lessons my parents struggled to impart to me was that adventure is a relative term. A trip to the beach is a great adventure at age six. At sixteen, it’s a routine summer activity. It can also be dangerous.
My father especially was interested in pointing out that we should savor even tiny adventures. Having survived two torpedo sinkings, he related how small pleasures onboard a lifeboat helped maintain sanity and offered pleasure. After her tumultuous youth, my mother, who valued quiet above all, claimed that adventure was findable in a good book on a summer afternoon.
Not knowing it, I took away both interpretations of adventure. But quietly, they were hidden from view.
As the frequently used Latin truism remarks, “accidit stercore” – shit happens. Gang members attacked me. I was caught up in a violent demonstration, and I was used for target practice by a jilted boyfriend. After all the rigamarole, I needed to have a sit-down talk session with the term “Adventure.” I decided that there was nothing wrong with adventure with a small a.
Adventure with a large a is conspicuous by its absence from my life these days. A quiet read, a game night, those are all right by me. I’ve been to the circus a few times; that was enough.