Secret Ingredients – 9

I’m starting a new series on here about the books that influenced me growing up.

These are the books that shaped my brain. Gave me my fears, values, and passions.

The Julie Secret Ingredients!


Choose Your Own Adventure #1

The Cave Of Time

cave of time


Not the whole book. One page captivated my imagination. You emerge from an underwater tunnel into a beautiful grotto open to the sky.  A woman greets you from her perch on a rock.

She has a flute with her. She’s just there. Peaceful. Unconcerned. Replete. You’re given the impression this room is the center of the cave itself. There is no time here. No worries. No pressing needs. No anxieties. She says, “You will never be hungry or bored.”

You can choose to stay or leave.

I always chose to leave, even though I wanted to stay. Something about the way that page was written pressured you to choose leave, as if staying would be morally wrong.

(Aha! I got curious and found my copy of this book to re-read the page. You aren’t given the choice here! You are told to turn to page 102. The woman shows you the way out without you even asking.)

I think about that page a lot. Probably once a week. Does that seem strange?

Consider: Our current societal environment is that page writ large. We are bombarded with contradictory messages all day long. Be grounded, but be outraged. Eat healthy, but don’t stress about it. Get enough sleep, but be sure you’ve done everything on your to-do list, plus some. It goes on and on, and we drown in it.

That page for me is a life-goal. To be both endings. To climb up on that rock and let the present moment be my grounding. To simply exist, allowing myself to feel the emotions and the truth of the world from my perception and experience, and to act accordingly.

To trust my agency.

It’s a goal, like I said. I’m not there the majority of the time, but I never lose sight of it.

Are there books that struck you with a theme you’ve carried forward into adulthood?


2 thoughts on “Secret Ingredients – 9

  1. This book!
    Wow that takes me back.

    In fact, this has me thinking of getting on eBay and seeing how many of these old Choose Your Own Adventures books I can find!

    I think I was reading these in 3rd grade. They were all the rage! Before the age of trading videos games, I guess. We traded these.

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