Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed just how often our family talks about our past trips and experiences. Maybe it’s always been like this and I just haven’t noticed, but it seems as if there isn’t a day that goes by without mention of something we experienced as a family while on a trip. Often it’s something related to wildlife, the scenery, or an activity, but it’s also a meal, a conversation, a cultural experience, and so on.
Tonight we spent time planning our backpacking trip to Isle Royale for Scouts next summer. On our Zoom call we talked about some of the specifics of the island and before I knew it I was lost in peaceful memories of our time on our “Fortress of Solitude.” There were so many memorable events and aspects of that place, the one that’s come up a few times recently was the moose who almost walked into us. It was a mind blowing experience that’s forever burned into my brain.
Becky showed me the picture that had rotated in as her laptop’s starting screen. Within milliseconds I knew the place; more importantly, I was mentally whisked away to New Zealand. We went into a couple of different glowworm caves while in Waitomo and the experience is forever etched into my brain and my heart. If you take a couple of minutes to watch the video above I can almost guarantee your jaw will drop at the beauty of these awesome cave dwellers. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.
There’s also a deeper and more personal reason that causes this memory to bring so much joy. While we were being slowly pulled by hand in a canoe in the dark and silence I was looking up at the glowing rock ceiling above my head. At one point I kept thinking to myself I wish Dad was here with me on this vacation, he would’ve loved this. In an instant I swear I heard his voice in my head, “I’m here, this is amazing.” I was glad the cave was so dark so no one could see the mist in my eyes. Whenever I see the glowworms I think of their beauty and I think of Dad.
Moose and glowworms… I’m so thankful for these experiences and even more grateful to have shared them with my family. They are excellent reminders for me to continue to live in the moment, experience wonderful things, create awesome memories, and share them with my loved ones for years to come as we continue to experience more.