I am reflecting on a moment in my twenties, I was at a research camp on the island of Borneo. We had been startled awake in the middle of the night by a loud explosion and people yelling "fire!". Honestly, I can't remember what had exploded, but something had and not surprisingly, in the jungle, there was no fire department to call.
So, roaming, nocturnal, wild boars be damned, we were out of our beds, in the darkness, carrying buckets of water back and forth to put out the flames. What I remember most about this night was Helen from New Zealand. Helen was on the other side of a large bucket filled with water, so heavy we had to carry it together and walk sideways like crabs. In the middle of the mayhem, from the other side of the bucket, she yells over to me. "This is what I love about this place!"
Back in Canada decades later, on another night, I was woken not by an explosion, but by a very heavy rain. On this night I found myself desperately filling plastic grocery bags with sand from my kids' sandbox. As my husband and I raced to stack the sand bags outside our flooding basement, I don't recall looking at each other filled with zeal exclaiming "This is what I love about home ownership!"
The difference? Responsibility. I knew what Helen meant. She meant she felt alive and vital. Also, that night in Borneo, we were somewhat confident that the fire would be extinguished and also we weren't the ones in charge. The night of the flood? We didn't know how much more the basement would flood (a lot more) or if the furnace was destroyed (it was) or if insurance would cover the costs (it did, mostly)
I have found that once I am thinking about insurance, I've pretty much extinguished the flames of vitality and zeal. That is my analysis of the difference between the two aforementioned nights.
Still, putting an adventurous spin on things can make life more full or at the very least more colourful, if only in my own mind. As Joseph Campbell used to say, "you have to say 'yes' to the adventure of being alive." All of it. Even ice cold raindrops down the back of soggy pajamas.