Earlier this evening, the happy sounds of fourteen girls echoed through the ravine behind my house.

The bravest of the bunch, eight or ten, waded into the creek, while the rest played in our treehouse, climbing the rope ladder, swooshing down the slide, watching us from their vantage point on the hill.

It’s a muddy bank.

We squished our toes into the mud and splashed in the warm water. We climbed over some of the trees that bridge the water, crawled under the higher ones. In some places, the mud feels like quicksand, and I felt my legs sink in almost to my knees.

We wandered upstream until we reached an impassable spot. Then we retraced our steps and walked downstream past our starting point until we got to an obstruction — fallen branches crisscrossing the creek. Two girls ducked ahead to scout out the path forward and declared it to be far too treacherous to continue.

So we turned back.

I said to my friend, while we sprayed off the girls’ muddy feet with the hose: I’ve waited all summer for this.

The creek is right in my backyard. This fall, when the leaves are stripped from the tree, I’ll be able to see it from my office window.

I don’t have to walk far to get there. Out the back door, down the steps, to the water’s edge.

My girls often ask if we can play in the creek. My answers: it’s too muddy; maybe later; too many mosquitoes; I’m working now; it’s bedtime; not tonight.

Somehow, I needed this group of adventurers to propel me past my excuses.

And what a group of adventurers they were! Undeterred by mud, they forged on, sure-footed, reaching out a hand to pull up a friend, their eyes alert to crabs, minnows, frogs, and flies.

Smiling, laughing, delighting.

I waited all summer for this.

But, why?

What have you been waiting all summer to do? What are your excuses? What would motivate you to put those excuses aside?

Invite someone else to join you if you must, but do that fun thing you’ve been waiting all summer to do.

Break out of your usual routine. Do it tonight. Make some memories.

Tell me something! If my post inspired you to do something, I’d love to hear about it!