As friends return, breathless with tales of exotic derring-do, from summer adventures, my gills may have taken on just the slightest tinge of green. Hmmm, I grouched, all I have to show for this summer is a fortnight on the a Suffolk Coast. With my head stuck in a beehive, mostly.
Seeking solace, I stumbled into the word “inventure”. And why not ? A prefix is the pivot of meaning. “Inventure” has all the makings of adventure, but without the outbound element. It’s a vivid, heart-quickening invitation to delve deep into the unknown. “Inventure”. Yes, indeed.
And the more I think about it, “Inventure” seems the perfect word to describe the thrill of beekeeping. Plunging into a bee-hive is obviously not outward-bound, as adventures are. It a journey into the insect interior of an unmapped continent, inhabited by phalanxes of winged, poison-dart warriors.
Attired in my white bee-suit, conspicuous as an astronaut, I pause at the hive entrance and look, listen and sniff, contemplating my incursion. I plant my feet on the threshold of another world and crank the crown board open with a ritual hive-tool: the prelude to an odyssey through the lair of a super-organism. There’s no turning back. No re-set button. I’m on my own, come what may.
And, just like an adventure, there is exhilaration. That’s because the outcome of my immersion in the hive is crucial. A mis-step can bring life or death for the bees. A blundering finger can mean an injection of venom into my veins. Not trivial.
So I’ll take my “inventure” as a parallel to your adventurings. My yin to your yang. And welcome back from your yabba-dabba-doo excursions, all you roving hedonists. Yes, you and your splendid Facebook photo albums, too.
In or out, the venture is the thing. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.