by Russell Adcox
May 30, 2017 - 1:34pm

In our house, we have a very specific bedtime routine with our son. It is a routine we started when he was just a toddler and, to be honest, I never would have guessed that we would still be following it as he nears his 8th birthday in just a few days. There tend to be slight variations, often involving some a little horseplay and a lot of laughing, but the routine remains almost unchanged. We talk about his day; we read; we pray; and we sing the same songs we have sung year after year. It has become my favorite part of every day and there is a little part of my heart that dreads the day he outgrows it. He will stop needing it long before I do. Tonight, I find myself sitting at the kitchen table, reading one of my favorite photography blogs. As I look at the amazing photos and read the stories about exotic places and people, I feel a familiar sting of restlessness. Not unhappiness, but a persistent wanderlust that has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I am very aware of how blessed I am and our life here as a family makes me very happy. But there has always been a part of me wants to live out of a duffel bag; to wander aimlessly all over the world, with no particular destination; to see places and people I have never seen and to photograph and write about them. I often daydream of crossing oceans on a freighter and crisscrossing continents while staring out a train window. Tonight is one of those nights. I feel my vagabond shoes pulling at my feet and my imagination begins to spin the compass like a wheel of fortune, giddy with excitement to see which direction it lands. "Go, wander, see!", says the quiet voice of the wandering spirit. And suddenly, there it is...that little restless wind blowing through my soul. My wife walks out of our bedroom behind me and as she passes, she brushes her hand across my shoulder. To her, it may be an unconscious habit, but to me, it is the world. "I'm headed back to put him to bed.", she says as she passes me, leaving behind the faint scent of her night time lotion. As she walks through the kitchen and living room, she turns off lights, leaving only a single lamp burning on the sofa table. On the other side of the dimly lit living room, I can see moving shadows cast by our son's bathroom light as he finishes brushing his teeth and I hear my wife tell him it is time for bed. Suddenly the restless wind inside me is still. I push the button that turns my iPad screen blank and in the blink of an eye, the exotic lands disappear from my screen and from my mind. As I stand up, I notice a catcher's mitt and baseball laying in the light of the sofa table lamp. They should have been put away before bedtime, but as so often happens in our home, the trappings of childhood remain where they lay instead of where they belong. And in that instant, all of my vagabond longings vanish. The landscape of our living room looks more beautiful to me than the plains of Africa. The sound of my wife and son's laughter hold more appeal to me than sound of the train whistle. And the promise of nighttime songs and hugs and kisses quickly quiet the wandering spirit's tempting words. Do I still want to see the world? Of course I do. And I still plan to, in bits and pieces, secure in the knowledge that home always awaits when I return. But right now, in this this season of life...this house is my world and in it I find as much adventure and joy as I could ever hope to find under any pin on any map. For now, all of my important stories are here. So I grab my camera from the kitchen table (much like the ball and glove, it never seems to get put away either) and I take a photo to remind me of the adventure I'm living every day. And what a grand adventure it is.

In Celebration,

Russell Adcox

Dickon May 31, 2017 - 8:17am

Evocative and poetic... although children's laughter have long since evaporated from our home, my wife and I celebrate the small things we share daily. Our home has become our island paradise hidden and safe from worldly chaos, our puppy has become our permanent toddler in residence, and the infatuated dreams of travel are replaced by recognition of a richer peace, right here, right now. Thanks for reminding me!

Thank you, Dick.  I'm betting that laughter has not evaporated from your memory.  And lets face won't have to pay for braces or college for the puppy.  Enjoy your island paradise and don't forget to occasionally dance in tropical rain.  

Kathyon May 31, 2017 - 8:30am

Beautiful. And the accompanying photo completes the story.

Kathyon May 31, 2017 - 8:32am

Beautiful. The accompanying photo completes the story in such a tender way.

Melody Kulsic-Meyeron May 31, 2017 - 10:38am

Beautiful. I am in total agreement. Although travel is wonderful . . . Home is where the heart is. . . ❤️❤️❤️

And when you are seperated from your heart, you never feel quite whole.  

Verna Vagleon May 31, 2017 - 12:58pm

Thank you for this beautifully written piece from your heart. God's blessings to you and your family.

Thank you, Verna.  God continues to bless me far beyond what I deserve.  

Paton May 31, 2017 - 1:26pm

I couldn't express how we are blessed any better. However, we can always feel our soul digest the imagines we see in photos. Then the light turns off.

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