Spirit of exploration

Way back when, my sister and I spotted a rainbow.  Needless to say, we were very excited about the discovery. So we ran to our dad to tell him what we had found.

My dad stepped outside to admire this miracle of nature and then told my sister and I to jump in the car -- we were going GOLD HUNTING!!

The Oldsmobile soared out of the driveway and before we knew it, we were deep in the countryside, headed straight toward the rainbow’s end.

My dad would put the wipers to full squeegee speed and we’d laugh and laugh and laugh, and then we’d hold our breath as we seemed to catch monstrous air going over those gravel hills.

But alas, the rainbow faded into the distance, and my dad, sister, and I were left without a single gold nugget.

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I don’t know about you, but to me, it would be of the highest honors to be included in the same list as Ponce de Leon, Leif Ericson, James Cook, and Marco Polo, but the odds do not rest in my favor to be included in this elite explorers’ club.

The truth of the matter is that there’s very little left on planet earth to discover in the realm of terrain. (All a person has to do is use Google Earth to know this is true.)

So how do people who have this drive to explore deal with the facts?

Some sign up for a one-way ticket to Mars. Others turn to fiction and dive into the endless mountains inside their minds.

Me -- I chose to blend the two which allows me to look at exploration as existential (e.g. personal) and in relative terms. Like a child seeing something for the first time: he or she doesn’t care if a hundred billion others have seen the moon or stars or mountains or trees or dogs or turtles or whatever -- it is still processed as “new” to them.

Exploration is more than making maps or crossing bodies of water; it’s the seeking out of something new, it’s the hunt, it’s the action of the curious, and it’s meant to be embraced.

- - - - -

You’d think as a kid I would have been more disappointed by not finding a fortune that Spring afternoon, but I really wasn’t. On the contrary, I was the happiest kid alive!

I got to spend an afternoon with my dad and my sister chasing a mystery -- and not to mention, the thrill of a pursuit and story taboot.


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