I cannot tell you why our conversations the past three days have centered around the Oregon Trail. I’m going to guess that’s a reason why I shouldn’t ever play video games – it becomes obsessive.
(But I’m going to take a moment to call out the friend who’s been texting me updates on her own voyage along the Oregon Trail. Some people are weird!) (love you, but love to tease you, too!)
Lizard and I have been discussing whether, if given the opportunity by being birthed in the 1800s, we would have been willing to take the Oregon Trail ourselves.
We decided we would probably get all excited about it, buy our wagon, pack the kids, say goodbye, and then, about Missouri, look at each other and say, “What Were We Thinking?!”
This also leads into my earth-shaking theory about this country and how it was populated – ready?
The people who were brave and daring (or poor and defenseless) enough to make it to the US in the first place were a special breed. More resilient, able to take greater risks, an entreprenuerial-sort of personality.
(This explains why the US had the chutzpah to rise to world dominance in the 1900s.)
Once those original adventurers settled, cleared some land, discovered the cotton gin and reproduced a few generations life got boring for the descendants of folk who had a-wanderin’ in their blood to start.
Opportunity in the form of Manifest Destiny presented itself.
“How bad could it be?” followed by “How good could it get?” were the two questions I suspect they tussled with.
So, they traveled west, facing hardship, adventure, freedom and opportunity every moment.
(I’m betting every breath they took smacked of life. Of course, an eagle might be nearby making it their last breath as well, but that’s the chance you take.)
My theory is the farther west a family traveled the more adventurous and independent they were as human beings. They valued freedom and lack of authority more than the average person.
Which is why people in New York City aren’t able to comprehend of a life outside of their island and people in Wyoming can’t comprehend of a life where you see buildings around you nonstop.
And possibly why the majority of politically red states are in the Western U.S.
I think it also explains my fondness for guns and ability to wear jeans to church.
As far as our personal adventure on the Oregon Trail, I’m going to guess we’d probably continue to Oregon even though we thought we were crazy.
Because, you know, reality tends to set in later for us. Examples?
When we got two Great Dane puppies. (They were so cute and small at six weeks old!)
Or tried for a third child. (Who has been a blessing, but, really, three children??)
Or packed our house and moved 1,000 miles in the space of four days. (So many things to say that I won’t right now. But they might involve mouse traps. Which is a reference I might explain tomorrow when I can laugh about it but right now, suffice to say, I don’t like mousetraps at all.)
Lizard loves the Matrix. I’m reminded of a quote from the movie as I think through all of this:
“You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” -Morpheus
If you had to make the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red), what would you choose?
Are you and adventurer or a settler?
Are you ok with that?
(Here I am, at the end of today’s offering, hoping this makes sense. If it does, please let me know. If it doesn’t, please come back tomorrow when my brain isn’t quite so addled.)