The sky on fire. Ice cubes on a hot day. A seat with a back. A piece of chocolate on a long hike. An ice cream cone. A well-timed joke. Seconds at dinner. Laying in the grass. The stillness of water on a lake in the early morning. A shooting star. A hug from a friend. Gear that works. Climbing a tree. Handmade forts. Rain on a tent fly. Old cars. A cup of coffee. Love notes. A snow day. A great sports movie. A hummingbird. Wild huckleberries. A great book. A parking spot right next to the store. A pizza and movie night. Sandcastles. The sound of a harmonica around a campfire. A floating dock. Holding someone’s hand. Wind in your sails. Chubby babies. A handwritten piece of mail from an old friend. Bowties. The sound of snow falling. A lightning storm. Biking on an open road. Snowmen. Marching bands. Capitol buildings. A green light. The hum of cicadas in summer. A great puzzle. A crisp apple.
Last night, I was in Cleveland, and I looked up and saw the sky on fire. The winter cold plus the setting sun made magic in the sky. I could not help but admire the view and capture the moment in a picture. The views are different than seeing the sunset over the Tetons, but the appreciation of the simple things is not.
Beauty, magic and wonder exist all around us. You just need to develop the skills to recognize these things and this is a key lesson of a Wilderness Adventures experience. Our students and staff come away from their time with us appreciating the small things that make life worth living. This is just one of the critical lessons we gain from these great adventures, but one that many of us WA alums have learned to value the most.