Savoring Watershed Moments

Hello, it seems I have been missing in action these past months since I last reached out to you. I have had a lot going on, including a ten day escorted tour of Canada’s Maritime provinces for which I hosted my daughter Julina and her only daughter Jaycelin. We had planned the trip many months prior, and were excited about spending time exploring a part of the world together where we had never before ventured.
I’ve been back a week or so returning with Covid and am finally over my covid isolation. Our claims are in to the airline for the three cancelled flights, the lost luggage and the nights spent in the airport. So, finally I can mentally focus on the experience of the adventure itself with two of my loved ones. We learned so much; about the Acadians, the French Canadians who settled in Eastern Canada and suffered consequences in the 18th century due to their Catholicism; the story of the 80,000-100,000 Loyalists to King George III who fled to safety in Eastern Canada during the American Revolution; the intricacies of the oyster farming industry; the immensity of the 110 million pound haul of lobsters harvested annually out the deep Canadian waters; and so much more. All of what we learned was fascinating including meeting the generous, friendly Canadians themselves. However, it pales when put up against the experience of time spent as roommates with my daughter and granddaughter.
As I continue to mull this over, the mental picture projects of Jaycelin jumping up on my queen sized bed and tucking herself under my left arm as I sipped my morning coffee in Nova Scotia. The image fills my heart with joy. She snuggled in just as she did twenty years ago as a five-year old girl. Another mental vision that makes me grin is being on the top deck of the ferry as it crossed from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia, and looking down through the pouring rain to a lower deck where my daughter and granddaughter were delighting in the raw weather. I called to them for a photo and they smiled up at me and spontaneously slipped into dancing an energetic jig right there on the deck of the huge ship! It is all the sweeter for my awareness that Jaycelin’s life in the future will probably not allow the luxury of so many days traveling with her grandmother. 
Exploring these magical trip experiences has provided a channel down which I can see other such long ago precious watershed moments in life. I can look back through a nearly sixty year lens to the last day of my undergraduate education. I was the last roommate to vacate the Lavender Room in the Alpha Gamma Delta house on 28th Street in Los Angeles. It was 1964 and I can vividly see my younger self sitting on my roommate’s stripped down bed, staring out the front window as other students on the Row moved packed boxes back and forth to their cars. I was then keenly aware that my life was about to change drastically, for I would be married the following Saturday. I knew then that I was having a watershed moment; I contemplated what living in the sorority house had meant to me for those two years, and how my life would be very different as I moved into my future. I was right. I did move into my future but not before I took it all in, savoring it.
I shared the idea about these watershed experiences with my husband, Ken, and he too pulled up some exquisite time dividing moments he has savored with his girls’ wrestling team, a journey he began 15 years ago when many of his peers headed for retirement. Perhaps as we move further and further through life, these mindful pauses where we take it all in become more and more valuable.
The agony of our lost luggage and cancelled flights is fading and I am left with some treasures of memory that I will enjoy far into the future. Another such experience was with our tour of the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Nova Scotia. Bell, the inventor, was fascinated by flight, inventing flying machines, based upon his study of kites. The museum offers up kites for the patrons. Julina, Jaycelin and I spent a delightful few hours laughing, running, and flying those kites, catching the strong wind off the world’s largest salt water lake, and being somewhat shocked that we had mad kite flying skills!
Travel has many advantages, in that it can allow us to be in the path of opportunities that might not exist in our daily lives. Our trip offered such experiences. I would not ordinarily spend an afternoon successfully flying a kite.
So my take-away from this trip is not just the time spent with my daughter and granddaughter but the value of being mindful of these precious opportunities when they present themselves. They are rare and worth everything. What watershed, time diving moments, have you enjoyed which you can take out and think about in your own life? I would love to hear about them.
My best, donna