We almost gave up. The wind was picking up and I could feel the damp seeping into my wool socks. We had slid down icy embankments, skirted the semi-frozen river and scrambled up the snowy hillside half a dozen times. All we had to show for it was frozen fingers and scratches from the thorny branches.
While their baby sister cried from the cold, the two big girls started bickering and I began to seriously question whether I was even fit to parent. I know Glen was wondering the same thing. Whether it was kindness or survival instinct that prevented him from voicing it I will never know, but I could see it in his eyes. This expedition into the snowy wilderness had been my idea… for fun… on our holiday.
Then it happened! The moment that changed this train wreck of a morning into a cherished family memory. Stories will be told through the ages about the greatness of this moment. It will long be lauded in poetry and song.
She found it! Nestled amongst the roots of an evergreen in the middle of the forest. A small weather-proof tube wrapped in green duct tape. C has an uncanny ability for finding things, and she cemented her place in family legend by finding our very first cache.
I have always wanted to try geocaching, and for some reason a trip to the mountains in the middle of winter seemed like an ideal time. We have tagged along with friends before, but this was our first attempt at the hobby. Basically, it’s a treasure hunt using a GPS and co-ordinates you can find on the internet. (Or, download a totally cool app onto your totally cool iPhone and it will walk you through the whole process.) Enthusiasts have hidden caches of all kinds all over the world. When you find one, you sign the log, take a “treasure” and leave a token of your own behind.
A small plastic frog is hardly booty to write home about, but to my kids it has inestimable worth. We did that! Together! Against all odds! Through rugged terrain (if you’re 7-years-old) in a harsh climate (if you are a west coast wimp like us), undertaking the daunting task of navigation with a team leader who has the directional ability of a… (what is something really dumb?).
We were so excited, we decided to keep going. While Glen and B went back to the cabin to prepare hot chocolate and compliments for my brilliant, brilliant idea, we found two more caches. The girls and I have caught the bug!
Why do something as mundane as take a walk, when you can hunt for hidden treasure? It may seem a bit silly, but that’s the beauty of it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the serious business of living that we forget that adventure lurks around every corner.
Suddenly, getting lost is a chance to explore a strange new land. Who knows what you may find? I explore a lot. See above re: directional ability.
My mom used to say that only boring people get bored. I may have repeated this a time or two thousand to my own kids. I think it’s time I took my own advice. Life is mundane only when I forget to look for the magic and the miracles.
So here’s me, finding treasures in normal life.