Berg. Winter. Glorious day. From the shade of the makeshift veranda at All Out Adventures’ coffee area, I observed the sources of squealing, shrieking and screaming. To my left, kids were springing from trampolines, aided by bungee cords that whipped them up high. Beyond them, a young couple reached the top of the King Swing platform, and with true chivalry he offered her first place.
A whole lot of popping sounds distracted me from her jump, but I heard the scream and watched as she swung like a pendulum on the end of the rope. Further off, out front, a mixed-age bunch of people were ducking and diving through the forest, paint-ball guns at the ready, and colourful splotches across some of their armour. High above, one of the cable riders zipped through the treetops, and while he was considerably quieter than the others I had observed, it was not difficult to see the ear to ear grin on his face. Just in front of me, a lady was bouncing in a large net, having just dropped from the trapeze swings she was being taught to use. Around me the chitter-chatter of experiences, the clinking of glasses and coffee mugs. Moms, Dads, girls and boys – either exploding with excitement and anticipation; or already strewn about the grass exhausted and spent.
“I just don’t know what my purpose in life is…like I was a good Mom and wife, and I am very religious and all that…but I feel…like empty…” A few minutes ago, she had been a complete stranger, and I had basically stumbled upon their conversation. She was with a friend; both flopped on beanbags in the sun, and were waiting for their husbands to come off the mountain bike trails. I think many of us have questioned our purposes in life, and some really, and rarely, come to know what theirs is. It was quite a philosophical conversation for me to be in, but having had a fair few medical issues in my life, I felt I had some wise words to proffer. She took some solace when I suggested that sometimes your purpose in life is already at play, work-in-progress – you may already be serving it without knowing so. We don’t all need to feed the poor, shop for the elderly, or sponsor a kid – (she felt she needed to do something). I had recently heard a line on TV that struck a chord with me, so I shared it with her: “Don’t wait for the moments that define you, they have already happened, and they will already happen again.“
Behind me I saw the quad-bikes coming in. Beyond them, a group of trail cyclists – small, tall, fat, thin – muddy, sweaty – but undoubtedly satisfied. I took it all in – everything going on around me. Fun, fear, excitement, meeting strangers. I don’t know for sure, but I came to realise then, that the purpose of life…is Life itself. It was made for living – so live it!
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt