Snapshots of Our Trip’s Tradition
When we’ve taken trips with our grandson, we have often developed a routine, usually according to a place we’re visiting, and what’s available nearby for the evening activities. For example, last year, on the Oregon beach, we were near only one small town, so ended up visiting a variety of small towns in the area, eating the catch of the day for lunch, and spending quite a bit of time watching boats at the docks. It was a prime interest for an eight year old to see what the sailors were up to. There were other daily things, like finding each town’s best ice cream cone, and building a fire in the cabin fireplace each night, & having s-mores. (It’s cold in Oregon, even in July!)
This year of course, we flew the other way, to the Gulf in Florida, and shared different experiences, always close to our place on Sanibel Island. As I wrote in the two previous posts, most of this time was spent watching animals and playing in or by the ocean. We chose outdoor activities like visiting a nearby refuge, learning about an animal rehab hospital, and taking a sunset cruise on a bay – hoping to see dolphins and manatees, and we did! This trip’s tradition ended as a simple, but grand one, one we looked forward to every day after the first evening. We ended each day down on the beach to swim one more time, to play a little more in the sand, to look for one last good shell, and to watch and photograph the sunset. This was the time of day we saw more people than any other time. There were never many people, but more were there in the evenings to see this spectacular vision of the sun. It was like being at a fireworks display on Independence Day, lots of ohs and ahs. Each night the sky offered a particular different look to the sun, and we began to try to describe what was happening, as in ‘the clouds above are shading it enough that it looks hazy’ or ‘the wind earlier cleared the air, so it’s pure sun tonight’. It became like little poems and I now wish I had written them down. However, I did manage a good photo each night.
One definition of the word ‘serendipity’ is “The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” I love how our trips seem to fall around us, delighting us with the usual because we are really noticing this time; and holding us in the particular place, a little group of three experiencing a small part of our world.