Saturday, January 18, 2014

Living Large (Day -85)

I was planning to write today about some of the great books I've found about the Underground Railroad. That will have to wait for another time, though, because I feel compelled to write about a different book...

I read well into the wee hours this morning, I just could not put this book down until I finished it. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes, is hard to categorize. It's a love story in the broadest, deepest sense, and illuminates the complicated loves between all the characters--not a typical romantic novel. I laughed out loud, I cried, I smiled, I ached; when done, I was both wired and wiped. In the book, Louisa Clark is living an ordinary, small life, and she can remember "the exact day [she] stopped being fearless." Through happenstance, Lou becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor--who is now wheelchair-bound but once lived boldly, loudly, extremely. Initially wildly mismatched, Lou and Will irritate each other, and then slowly learn important things about themselves by caring for one another.

What does this have to do with my UGRR bike tour?

I've been thinking a lot about this strong drive I have for adventure. I am basically a homebody who likes to live quietly in a small space (and is trying to downsize her belongings to a small, if not minimal, set). Outwardly, I think my life looks small. Yet inside, my passion for connecting with the natural world and myself through adventure lives large. I don't crave extreme-sports, death-defying excursions, but I cook up little escapades that push my boundaries a bit, push back the fears, and bring life into a little higher relief.

In the book, Will writes Lou a letter in which he says: "...there is a hunger in you...A fearlessness. You just buried it, like most people boldly. Push yourself. Don't settle...Just live well. Just live."


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