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

Jonon May 31, 2017 - 9:35pm

Always like local travel because I like being home when I'm done. Lived in Germany for six years did a lot of local travel met many locals and still 20yrs later still friends

I agree, Jon.  No matter how wonderful a trip is, that first night back in our own home is always a great feeling.  

Judith Howcrofton June 6, 2017 - 4:06pm

Thank You for sharing so many pieces of your heart. We used to joke about our bucket trips. They are now intriguing, spiritual adventures without the hustle and bustle of hurry up and get somewhere so we can hurry and get back. It seems everything unfolds as it should in good time.

Thank you Judith.  Sometimes it seems to take forever waiting for that life map to unfold, it with a little patience, oh what great destinations lay ahead.  :)

Russell Adcoxon June 14, 2017 - 6:57pm

Thank you all for the kind words.  When you put your words and images out into the world, there comes with that sharing a huge sense of exposure and vulnerability.  Or, at least, that is the case with me.  I cannot express how much joy it gives me to know that my words and experiences ring true with others as well.  It is a wonderful reminder that, as much as we embrace and celebrate our diversity, our similarities and shared experiences bind us together.  

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