A Tale of Two Stories

This morning EJ and I finalized financial matters so we have money for the move to the Emerald City.

EJ also selected a motel and reserved a room for next week when he begins his new job. He is going without us because it would be too expensive for us to all stay in the motel. EJ and I have never been apart from each other for more than a week–when he went up North during deer season–so being apart will be difficult. However, while he’s up there, he will search for a house for us so we can join him as soon as possible. Meanwhile JJ and I will stay home to care for the pets and start packing.

Doctor Who
Doctor Who

We have so much to do. I wish that we could have gotten all the projects done–but we have run out of time and will just have to work on the projects when we can. Everything has gone so fast. From the time that EJ first put his resume on the Internet until now has been about a month.

I feel as if we have somehow stepped into two different fairy tales.

The first is the story of The Hobbit. I love an article by Susan Morris that I found today at omnivoracious.com. The article begins:

Hobbits are very concerned about the idea of adventure. As Bilbo said, adventures are “Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” And I can’t say I much disagree! You have to be a little bit cracked to want to go on an adventure. Think about it. If you had the choice between a comfortable life where you have all the jammy muffins and frosted scones you could wish for, a warm home filled with creature comforts, a strong community–and sleeping outside on the rocky ground in the cold rain eating what sour berries you come across (and perhaps a mangy squirrel if you’re lucky), risking life, limb, and happiness to accomplish some goal you think is for the greater good, which would you choose?

“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning!”

 But somehow, something “Tookish” wakes in us, and we wish to see great mountains, hear pine trees and waterfalls, explore caves, and trade our walking sticks for swords. And more than that, we actually do it. Drawn into adventure–into risking it all–against our better judgment. So what drives us reluctant heroes to abandon elevensies in favor of hard tack…?

EJ and I are both very Hobbit-ish in that we have a love of family and the coziness of home. but I think we must have a bit of Took in us. The Tooks were a branch of the Baggins family who enjoyed going off on adventures.

Wizard of Oz Poppies2I think that we would have been content to have no adventures at all if it weren’t that we became so tired of battling wicked witches, flying monkeys, evil apple trees in gloomy forests, and enchanted soldiers that we found ourselves falling asleep in the poppy field. Especially since JJ’s battle with cancer, we felt so weary that we were in danger of falling asleep in an enchanted field of poppies. We thought, “If we don’t wake up now, we might never wake up.”

Traveling to the Emerald City
Traveling to the Emerald City

So we told God that we wanted to go on an adventure–probably it was actually God’s idea to drag us out of our sleep–and we began our journey along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, which is our dream destination.

In every telling of the great stories, the Hero’s Journey, the Hero must take leave of what has been comfortable and normal for him or her. We must do this as well when we strike out on a new adventure, and awaken from slumber to the quest. ~ Matt Ragland, 12 Quotes and Lessons From The Hobbit

It’s all kind of scary, but something “Tookish” woke in us, and we wish to see hear pine trees and waterfalls, explore caves, see the stars and northern lights…And more than that, we are actually doing it. Drawn into adventure–into risking it all–against our better judgment...Before, we all felt as if we were merely existing, plodding through our days, but as we go off on our adventure to the Emerald City, in the midst of the stress and scary things, we echo Bilbo Baggins’ words,

“Go back? No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.

It’s rewarding to see excitement seeping back into our eyes. With each hurdle that we overcome, we exclaim, “I can’t believe this is really happening! WOOT!”

Several years ago, I was thinking about The Hobbit and adventures and I wrote a couple of poems. It seems appropriate to share them here. The first poem is about a reluctant traveler who fearfully goes off on an adventure.

The Adventurer

I sit by the fire
In my nice cozy nest
Content to read books
Of knights on great quests
It’s not that I mind
Adventures or danger
Or travel to lands
That grow ever stranger
I’ll gladly climb mountains
And sail stormy seas
If I’m able to do it
While sipping hot tea
I’ll boldly steal treasure
From the fierce dragon’s lair
If I’m snuggled quite safely
In my old rocking chair.

Hobbit BilboI invited You in
As my most honored guest
Not suspecting You’ll take me
On an adventurous quest
With a laugh You hold on
To my trembling hands
And urge me to travel
To faraway lands
You prod me up mountains
And across wild seas
While I yearn for safe places
And cups of hot teas
We search for great treasure
Fight dragons and more
And then journey still onward
To another far shore

When weary and shaken
I plead for a rest
I sit for a moment
And think of my nest
Then realize in wonder
That I’ve lost all desire
To be sitting at home
In my chair by the fire
I’m not quite as bold
As I was in my chair
For I shake and I scream
When I enter dark lairs
But I’ve been given a taste
Of adventurous lands
And everything else
Seems spiceless and bland

A stranger, a pilgrim
Is what I’ve become
Adventure and danger
Are not what I shun
You’ve given me life
To live with great zest
And I’m no longer content
To sit in my nest
I leap to my feet
And laugh “Where to next?”
I’m willing and ready
To continue the quest
You’ve given the gift
Of hidden dreams all come true
And I’ll not fear the danger
When I travel with You.
 

Right after I wrote this poem, I wrote a poem about a Safe Adventurer. Both adventurers started out content to sit in their rocking chairs and read about adventures, but the true Adventurer actually went out and had the adventures–and grew through them. The Safe Adventurer never did. He never faced the danger and never reaped the benefits.

The Safe Adventurer

Rocking ChairI sit by the fire
In my nice cozy nest
Content to read books
Of knights on great quests
It’s not that I mind
Adventure and danger
Or travel to lands
That grow ever stranger
I’ll gladly climb mountains
And sail stormy seas
If I’m able to do it
While sipping hot tea
I’ll boldly steal treasure
From the fierce dragon’s lair
If I’m snuggled quite safely
In my old rocking chair.

The wonderful thing 

About rocking chair quests
About staying at home
In my nice cozy nest
Is that I have so much courage
I’m ever so bold
And I rarely get hungry
Or tired or cold
I admit there’s no treasure
No actual gain
but I never get wounded
Or suffer deep pain
If things get too scary
And I don’t  want to look
I can skip to the ending
Or put down the book.
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2 Comments on “A Tale of Two Stories

  1. Happy that you sounds so different and so happy again. Ofcourse there are still mountains to climb but you can do it as G’D will always be with you all as He always was . I loved your poems… ❤

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