Ever since I was young, I’ve dreamed of being a part of a heroic adventure. To do noble deeds, to sacrifice, to perhaps even save the day. Maybe it’s from all of the fairy tales I grew up with; maybe it’s something much deeper, almost instinctual that’s hard to give voice to; or maybe it’s both. Regardless, that longing for adventure has always been an intrinsic part of me.
Perhaps that’s why Belle from Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite Disney princess. Okay, so she does have brown hair and an insatiable love of books and stories too, but more than that, she wanted adventure. And she was noble and heroic when the moment called for it.
Since then, the stories I love most have all repeated this theme. Someone ordinary becoming part of a grander story. An epic. The stories I tell reflect it as well, whether it’s the ones that are written for others to see or the ones I tell myself as I do laundry, garden, drive.
I don’t know what adventures I’ll meet in life, but like Dorothy, I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to look much further than my own backyard to show the heroism and sacrifice in all of those great stories. We’re all part of an ongoing epic. An everyday epic. We each play an important role. Like in written epics, the plot is winding and difficult, but the most memorable characters endure through the worst trials and are better because of them. And in this story, the Author will eventually end it in the most beautiful way. The greatest happily ever after.
In the meantime, there are epics to write, both on and off the page. And who knows what adventures we’ll find in Belle’s “great, wide somewhere”?