I recently saw “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” playing for free in our little two-theatre cinema on base. In the movie a handful of aging Brits decide to leave their country and move to India to live out their twilight years as ex-pats in this “refurbished” hotel/retirement community.

Each has a story as to why they have come—some out of financial necessity, some seeking adventure, some looking for love, one for health reasons. They arrive to find that their accommodations were a bit over-sold, and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is very much still in the “early stages” of becoming the vision its young owner/manager is wholeheartedly trying to cast.

Each character responds differently to the “adventure” they’ve been thrown headlong into.

Judy Dench’s character, Evelyn, is widowed and realizes after her husband’s death that she really had no clue about their financial situation and her husband’s debts, to be exact. She must sell their apartment to pay off his debts and finds herself with no where to live. One of her sons offers to have her come live with him. But she decides this will be the time in her life when she strikes out on adventure. For the first time.

She moves to India, to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where she can afford to live, and gets a part time job training telephone operators in “cultural relations.”

Evelyn begins a blog when she moves. In one of her entries, she writes, India is like a wave. If you try to stand firm against it, you will be knocked over. But if you dive into it, you will get through and come out on the other side.

Of course, many of the other characters don’t respond with her dive-in attitude. Some are terrified, heartbroken, unsure, lost, angry. Or just plain whiney. Wishing everything were different.

I loved the movie mostly because it cast a needed light on our days here in Bahrain. Too soon, they will be coming to a close. We will be preparing to move on to our next duty station. Life will move us along. And I will look back at this time with the feeling that we have really been through something.

Am I embracing the adventure of today? Am I diving into this crazy wave before me?

We are swept up in an adventure here in Bahrain. Some days that is hard, though I wish it wasn’t. Some days I wish for a less adventure-y kind of place to be.

Because I’ve learned that . . .

Adventure is not convenient.

It’s not comfortable.

It’s not on schedule.

It’s not predictable.

It’s not hygienic.

It’s not neat.

It’s not immediately pretty.

It’s not ever like we planned.

It’s not always pleasant.

It’s not quiet.

It’s not easy on the stomach.

It’s not always safe.

It’s not tranquil.

It’s not glamorous.

It’s not easy.

And if you try and stand up against it, adventure will knock you over. BUT, if you dive into it, you will get through it and come out on the other side.

Perhaps these words apply to all kinds of adventures. The adventure of marriage, of parenthood, of getting well, of showing up, of writing or engaging in your particular vocation, of military life, of loving.

I wrote on facebook the other day: it feels good to make a commitment to yourself and follow through. Not in a punitive way but out of respect, honor. It’s empowering. Courageous. A way we learn to trust ourselves again.

May we all commit to the adventure, whatever it might be, that’s in front of us. And follow through . . . even in the craziness of it all. This is a way we honor our stories and our place in the grand narrative. Here’s to diving in!

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