About thirty years ago I stepped off of a boat on a Greek island (I can’t remember which one), with the announcement that the boat would be leaving again in an hour. Many people chose to not even get down, but I was young and frisky and wanted a little adventure, so off I went.
At first, I just walked down the main street from the top to the bottom, taking in the sights and smells, the shops, the restaurants, mostly the people. Then I headed back to the dock. Only 20 minutes had passed, so I turned around and headed back into town.
This time, though, I took a side street, then another, then another. I made some nice discoveries: I found an old church, a girl dancing in the streets, some live bouzouki music in a piazza.
I lost track of time, and when I next stopped to look at my watch, I had only 7 minutes to get back to the boat! I started running back from where I had come from, retracing my steps, then tried to invent a short-cut, then got lost, then came back to a fountain I remembered, then finally recognized an old storefront. Ah! I cut back through an alley and found myself on the main street again. I cut left and hustled back to the boat, jumping on just as they were untying the boat from the dock. A miracle!
Or just a day in the life.
I sometimes wonder what keeps some people sitting on the boat and others looking for adventure. Perhaps it’s some sort of self-discovery – it’s not an adventure unless you get lost, have to improvise, and find out that you’re good at getting yourself out of traps.
This then becomes a memory, a story you tell yourself later, when you’re really being tested by life. When you have to depend on your own self-confidence and ingenuity.
When you need a miracle, and come to expect one.