Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Monday, September 12, 2016

A Little Bit of Courage

It's bigger on the inside...


We visited the Horne Lake caves on Vancouver Island near where our middle son lives.
Getting ready.
The area is beautiful and the caves undeveloped and natural, which we found exciting.
But I learned something unexpected from the experience.
Let me tell you about it . . .
We went, first of all, for our son, who has Tourette’s and suffers from anxiety.
The fact that he acceded to our wishes to explore the caves is a testament to his courage, his trust in us and/or his very good team of health professionals.
Things started out well.
We donned our protective gear and mugged for a couple of pictures. Then our guide started out with us trailing (pun intended) along behind him down the forest path. A couple of young women were in our group just ahead of us and when we got to the very narrow cave opening, the one put up her hands and said, “Nope. Can’t do it.” They were guided to a secondary cave a short distance away. One without the ‘turn-sideways-and-suck-in-your-gut’ entrance.
I followed the guide, a little anxious for my son coming along behind me.
But then we reached the first cave and there he was. (Handsprings are not encouraged inside these caves. Just FYI.)
I had to keep my celebrating to a “Well done, Son!” and a smile.
We continued on through the ‘mud room’ and the ‘boulder room’ and the ‘crystal room’.
A lot of rooms.
Crouching and sliding to get from some to others.
And still my son stayed with us.
Sometimes even leading.
We saw rock formations that flowed and dripped.
Myriad colours and shapes and sizes.
Were told ‘not to touch that!’ or ‘Ooh, feel how cold this is!’
Lots of things to look at and experience.
A couple of times, I saw my son look upward toward the sky of stone above us.
I did the same.
Then realized that things down below were lots more interesting if I didn’t think about the tons and tons (and tons) of rock hanging over our heads.
We made it through, unscathed and perhaps a little more knowledgeable than when we had gone in.
And with an increased respect for my son’s courage.
But then I thought of something else.
Something that was only peripherally related to the caves we had just explored . . .
Success!
Those caves were like our little piece of our world.
There is much that is scary hanging over our heads. Crime. Terrorism. Natural disasters. Disease.
We could allow this to paralyze us and keep us from going forward.
Or we can maintain our focus and simply carry on. Not let fear stop us.
Keep on exploring.
Keep on living.
Which do you choose?


12 comments:

  1. I choose to keep moving in life, but I'm not sure I could choose that cave! A bit of a phobia of small enclosed places here ... Well done, indeed, to your valiant son. And his parents, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm a little 'iffy' with enclosed spaces as well. Amazing what you will do to make it okay for your children! :)

      Delete
  2. What a great experience and a great philosophy for life! I choose exploring and living.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll let you know when the next 'caving' experience comes along, Haralee!

      Delete
  3. Although reason tells us to keep on exploring, keep on living, the paralysis of anxiety can often overpower reason. I'm so proud of your son, and all you do to support him. I have a son I'm trying to support right now too. Unfortunately the only way to support him is to try to pull him towards rock bottom (pun intended).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wishing you all the best with your son! Amazing what we find we can do simply to support them, isn't it?!

      Delete
  4. I can have a life or an existence. I choose life. It costs more, hurts more and is worth immeasurably more.
    And big, big smiles for your son.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I SO agree!
      And thank you, EC. He was smiling pretty big as well. We all were!

      Delete
  5. I'm in the simply carry on group. I don't let any fear of what might happen keep me locked up inside my house.
    I feel very proud of your son, which is a little odd because I don't know him at all, but woo-hoo! conquering the caves!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I guess I'm sort of half and half.....if something really matters to me I carry on but other times I will let fear and insecurity rule me (I prefer to call it prudence).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prudence often gets me as well. Husby gets me out of the house on those days! :)

      Delete

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