The Afternoon Adventurer exists for, generally speaking, 1-2 hours a day or less between the hours of 4-7pm, depending on the season.
More often than not, my home in South-East-Queensland, Australia is gifted with a clear afternoon and an air temperature ideally suited for time spent outside.
I start hearing the call mid-afternoon as the heat begins to leave the day. Invariably, there comes a point in the hours that follow where, if a window is close by, it becomes impossible to work with any measure of productivity. The golden, sideways light cast by the sun is simply too much to resist, and the thought of missing one more moment of it in front of a screen gets me quickly moving.
Five minutes later, I have donned comfortable walking attire, walking shoes and small bag containing (at the very least):
– Notebook (actual paper & a liquid gel ink pen).
– Voice recorder.
– Source of music (+ a carefully chosen playlist and noise-cancelling headphones).
– Water-tight plastic bag (large enough to fit the items above in case of impending rain).
Following a quick warm-up and stretch, I’m walking; my ears filled with whichever melodic magic my iPod chooses to deliver next.
While the walk itself is intensely invigorating, on any given day I’m actually searching for a place to stop.
‘Vantage Points’, as I’ve taken to calling them, are optimal places from which to view the sunset. Fields, ovals, beaches and valleys are particularly inspiring.
Sometimes I go wherever the path takes me, in the hope of discovering a new vantage point. Sometimes I head to an existing one, often frequenting the same vantage point for months at a time. At the time of writing this, my favorite is a hidden sporting oval, which by late afternoon is almost always deserted – aside from a few fellow afternoon adventurers who have discovered the magic of this otherwise unseen paradise.
Now, I become myself.
Some afternoons, I will explore with a childish curiosity of discovering unknown terrain.
Other afternoons, I embrace my self-given ‘psychonaut’ title, and will take primarily to mind-exploration, purposefully (and carefully) descending the levels of thought as I hungrily yearn to discover another type of unknown terrain.
Most afternoons though, I appreciate. I sit in awe of the simple fact that I am alive, and am of able mind and body to experience the afternoon, in all its unfailing beauty and perfection.
I run. I dance. I leap around like an absolute crazy person. But then, as the sun sets, I stop, and I just drink it in.
I am always alone*.
Through words, photos, voice recordings, I relish and capture these moments of awe and wonder as best I can.
The Art of Awe.
With such a heading, you may be forgiven for thinking that I am advertising my own knowledge of what the art of awe is and how to achieve it.
In fact, the opposite is true.
I have yet to truly discover what the art of awe means even to me. I’m a beginner. I have so much to learn.
…and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t have it any other way.
But, with daily practice, I’m getting better. Funnily enough, life is getting better right along with it.
For some time, I have longed to write.
…actually, let me clarify. I have longed to share words. I have always written.
‘The Afternoon Adventurer’ sprang forth from joy so strong that it couldn’t remain within me. With care and self-compassion, the moments spent losing and finding oneself through awe, wonderment and creativity eventually become too happy. Through me, mine have seemingly formed their own outlet for expression. I can’t keep them to myself any longer; to do so would likely send me mad.
And, I simply can’t keep pretending to myself, and the rest of the world that I am anything other than that strange, curiously attractive fellow, energetically and enthusiastically ballet dancing in the middle of an empty field…
…oh yes, there is much dancing.
Nineteen / Boy Wunder (feat. Alister Wright) by Fishing
* While I do love walking with others, strictly speaking, I don’t call it an afternoon adventure if I’m not alone.