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Sunday, May 10, 2015

a cave's stars

I had a moment in New Zealand's glow worm caves. 
You know, a moment that leaves you stunned and speechless and totally in awe of life? 
It was one of those moments. 
There I sat in a boat with my husband and dear friends, completely mesmerized by a worm's glowing butt.
I mean, how weird and cool is that? 

Let me backtrack a second.
New Zealand has a few glow worm caves.
We visited one on the south island, located at Lake Te Anau.

We chose to break up our drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound with a pit stop at the caves.
I was totally ambivalent about going.
That ambivalence vanished the second we pulled up to Lake Te Anau.

In case you haven't figured it out, I am a nature girl.

Nothing makes me happier than forest and mountains and water.
I was stoked to discover that in order to get to the caves, we had to sail across the lake.
Pulling away from the dock and seeing nothing more than a panorama of tall, snow covered mountains, azure sky and deep blue water brought me immediately to my happy place. 

It only got better inside the caves.
We got in a canoe type boat with 10 other people. 
A person stood and pulled us along the cave wall using her hands, guided by a chain on the wall.

At first, the caves were pitch black.
And I was a little spooked. 
It was silent and there was nothing for my senses to sense except for the murky smell of the cave and soft lapping sound of the boat gliding through the water.
Then, suddenly, a few little blue lights became visible on the ceiling of the cave.
And then even more.
And then there were so many little blue lights the cave was lit up enough for me to see the person beside me.

That person happened to be my husband.

I looked over at him illuminated in this otherworldly blue light and saw complete wonder on his face.
I knew how we felt, for I felt the same wonder in my heart and the same huge and almost painful smile spread across my face. 
Because it was-- it is-- completely wondrous.
It's humbling to think of all the secrets this world holds, all this beauty that is hidden and hard to find. 
All these little pockets of goodness we don't even know exist. 

Holding hands, we floated through this surreal fairy tale landscape, and it was a beautiful moment I will never forget.

Sometimes, I wonder how to explain this life we lead.
This thirst for adventure, this wanderlust.
But this moment made it so clear: we are seekers of those secrets.
From continent to continent, we are seeking those little hidden pockets of goodness people who stay in one place will never know or see or experience.
Some people may think that is a little crazy, but after moments like this, moments that will stay with me forever, I cannot think of a better way to spend my time on this Earth. 

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  1. What a perfect little adventure to have! I love nature and seeing it in such a magical one is something just too amazing for words. Good job, you've got all these great photos to go with such lovely words!

    1. Thanks! Sometimes, there are just no sufficient words.

  2. So amazing! Your intro made me laugh, but I can imagine how beautiful it all must have been. Love the photos too, they are gorgeous!
    - Marcella

    1. Thanks :)
      It is quite funny if you think about it.

  3. 'we are seekers of those secrets' << This!

    I love those little moments. We were out once in the countryside just outside of Moscow. The snow was thick, white and crisp and the light was fading fast behind the trees. I've never seen light like it. I held my hands like a picture frame and took a mental picture of it, because I knew a real picture would never do it justice. Those moments are why we explore. Here's to many more!

    1. Absolutely! From one fellow explorer to another, I hope the discovery never ends!