Two by two, the twelve of us ran down the ramp of the catamaran onto the island’s sandy beach. Our guide on the catamaran announced nonchalantly, “If you see a bear, just blow the whistle and lock arms with the others to form a long line.” The words blurred in my thoughts. I remember thinking, “How would blowing a whistle help us if we saw a bear?”
Laughing loudly, my husband announced, “If my wife sees a bear, she won’t need to blow a whistle. The captain of the catamaran will easily hear her scream.”
Our guide also announced to wait patiently at the edge of the island for the catamaran to return for our departure. Once again my husband announced, “If my wife sees a bear on the island, she’ll be walking on water to return to the boat.” The other adventurers smiled as we all began our “afternoon wildlife excursion.”
Reflecting today on the information describing that island excursion, I am certain I skimmed over the word “wildlife” and the potential of our life being in danger that day.
The others went walking in the woods on the island. My husband and I went a different route. We walked on the tiny beach of the island basking in the sunny, warm afternoon in Alaska. “No point in placing ourselves in harm’s way, if at all avoidable,” I silently said to myself.
As we walked, my husband and I found one, two, and then three perfect sand dollars on the pristine island in Alaska. Never before had I found a perfect sand dollar at any shore I had visited and there we were on an island in Alaska holding three perfect sand dollars.
I wrapped the sand dollars in napkins and placed them gently in the pocket of my jeans. I told my husband, “I better take good care of these because no one will believe we found three sand dollars in Alaska.” I knew this was a “once in a lifetime experience.”
As the group returned to board the catamaran for our departure, one of the adventurers asked us, “What did you guys do?” I mentioned we had found driftwood and three sand dollars on our walk. Their eyes widened as they asked, “Where did you find sand dollars?” I heard their question but I was still in awe of what we had found. I gingerly held the sand dollars in my hands.
Those sand dollars represent more to me now than when we found them three years ago. Our adventure, a transformed treasure hunt, is just one of numerous extraordinary miracles my husband and I have experienced; miracles of love given to us by the creator of the universe.
Recently I found an article in a Reader’s Digest magazine about “How the new science of thank you” can change your life. In that article, Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, says, “Gratitude has the potential to change everything from its ordinary state to being a gift.”
Have you expressed appreciation today for an unexpected gift of love, something that money cannot buy?
© Angela Scott
December 28, 2007