Spelunking my way to coolness
Somewhere around the age of 20 years ago, I went spelunking for the first time. It was my brother's birthday party, but I, as younger sibling, was automatically included in the fun.
Back then, I was fearless. I was a tomboy who idolized my brother who idolized Indiana Jones. (I use idolize here in the most innocent of childlike senses.) Never mind that I'd be attempting to keep up with boys three years older. And never mind that I had a broken arm. The cast would protect it from further harm. I was ready to plunge into the the depths of Carter Mountain, the depths of Spirit Mountain Caverns, the depths where depth means nothing because you can't see it anyway.
We straddled crevasses. We stepped, then stooped, then slinked on our bellies through what can only be adequately described as a toilet bowl. We scaled rock faces. We spelunked (warning: that was a blatant attempt to use spelunk one more time.)
All this we accomplished with only a bike helmet to protect our heads and a flashlight to show the way. Could it get any cooler?
Well, yes. Yes it could. You see, our guide, a young man my father was helping mentor through "Young Life," who sported long hair and short belly shirts in the summer (it's okay; it was the 80s), also sported the most coveted of spelunking gadgets: a headlamp. Banded over his long hair, his headlamp made him look like a fierce Indian warrior. (Actually, looking back on his task of leading a tribe of prepubescent boys and a little girl with a broken arm through a cave laced with 40-foot crevasses, I think he must have been braver than a warrior.)
Anyway, I wanted one. As I looked at Jerome Ebarb in his headlamp, I felt as if I were looking at Indiana Jones himself. I know Indy never wears a headlamp, but that's how my 9-year-old mind saw it. Headlamps now equaled the epitome of cool.
Thus you can imagine my sheer joy when I received a headlamp for my recent birthday. Likewise, keeping in mind that I just marked my 28th year, you can also imagine my parent's bewilderment at my delight. But never mind that now. It was a headlamp. That's all that matters for the purpose of this story.
I pulled the lamp over my head, Indian-warrior like, and went outside to see what I could see. Dreams of leading a group of prepubescent kiddos into the depths of adventure filled my mind. Oh the thrill...
And someday, I believe, such dreams will come true. Until then, please don't be alarmed if you see a grown woman trekking through nearby woods, shining the beacon of her headlamp into dark corners, quietly humming the theme to Indiana Jones. She is simply celebrating her newly gifted measure of coolness.
Hm, hm, hmm, hmmmm, hm, hm, hmmm...