December 28, 2016

Wander into Wonder

My “W” word is Wander. I am a person who needs, wants and has a drive to wander: “to move around or go to different places usually without having a particular purpose or direction” – thank you Merriam-Webster dictionary. We are budget wanderers – my family and I – preferring the comfort of exploring Michigan’s many fingers, leaving our own hand-print on its mittens

I may be considered restless, having to always be doing something, anything, rather than sitting back and relaxing. For years, I have struggled with this “restless” label thinking it was a negative thing. Guilt over being “gone again” has been tough to explain away. Yes, we are gone again a lot, my husband, children and I, and enjoy every minute of our excursions. We’ll take off on our adventures at the drop of a hat with the purpose of wandering - sometimes with no set destination except for a cool coffee shop, bakery, woods, walking or biking trail, cemetery. 

I highly recommend a sense of wander (lust) for anyone who is willing to be wet from the rain, freezing, literally, on a river trail, needing a change of scenery, or perhaps, to fulfill your bucket list on places to visit. Maybe I am restless, but accept rather the positive in that rather negative word. It is me, my being, my personality led by my character, my bent if you will, my life choice – to wander! 👣👣👣👣

discovery of significance, sometimes hidden in later recollections, is that wandering often leads to wonder: “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable”

For instance, we have been part of a bicycle adventure where we are allowed to bike over the Mackinac Bridge after a grueling 4-5 days of traveling from Lansing to the bridgeThe Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world and connects Michigan's lower and upper peninsulas with a whopping length of 5 miles. As you bike over the expansion joints and bump over the surface, you are so close to the rail - which protects you from falling into the cold waters of Lake Huron as you head north (or Lake Michigan as you travel south) a feeling of wonder, overcoming the nausea and fear, grabs at your extremely fast beating heart, at the Mackinac Bridge’s size, beauty, power and how you can ride during the swaying in winds. Yet it stands, a testament to engineering and dedication. If we did not “wander into wonder” the memory of this magnificent bridge adventure would not have been ours to cherish, or pass on to others.

For me, life would be less full if we were to rest. The wandering is us. Wander into Wonder – Pure Michigan style.

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