There were a handful of deep thoughts that were prototypes for today’s blog, but they all got shoved aside by the end of the day. For sure, there are many moments, experiences, and newly created memories I’m grateful gif, but the highlight of my day started when the day began and ended shortly before bed.
Everyone else from our group left camp before Dominic and I. The two of us were packing up the last of our things and knew we’d catch up to everyone without any issue. For the span of a half mile or so the two of us got some fantastic father son time in the trail. We talked about where his thoughts had been leading him while walking the many quiet miles. It was awesome, pure and simple.
After supper many of the boys wanted to go explore a cave a little ways up the trail. Dominic hung back with the adults and I. After a while I asked if the wanted to walk towards the cave to check up on the others and we were off on the trail solo again.
On this later hike he shared why he loves this place so much and how he appreciates the opportunity to have time to think without the distraction of life. Not that he’s planning on running away from society and getting off the grid or anything, rather that same wonderful feeling of serenity which can only seem to be found in quiet places in the wild (though this is something I will dig into deeper in future days).
Why am I so grateful for these experiences with Dominic today? It’s twofold.
First, as a dad I can’t help but hope that I’m instilling the most important values of my essence in him, both the ones I live and those I wished I lived into better. He comments today helped me see that he is on such a wonderful track so much earlier than I was and I’m beyond excited to hear Dominic voice those thoughts.
Second, in many ways those same thoughts and ideal are the same Dad passed on to me. The respect and adoration of the outdoors coupled with an understanding and appreciation of the beauty of solitude. In spending quiet time alone in the woods we give our minds and souls the space they do desperately need to breathe, heal, and grow. Dad was smiling from above on our hikes today, no question.
To all the other amazing experiences, people, lessons, and deep thoughts – I’m so thankful for each of you as well for creating such a perfect day. Those conversations with Dominic, father and son moments in which our bond is drawn even tighter, are amongst the mist joyful moments of my life.