As many of you know, I have been away on an eighteen day bus tour through the eastern United States, to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario and down through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and back to Kansas. It was the trip of a lifetime! I could try to describe some of the beauty we saw, but my limited vocabulary would fall short. Here is what I wrote after a day touring the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia…
"There are not photos or words that could do justice to our journey today. Such beauty and serenity and loveliness defy the confines of my vocabulary or photographic ability. I will choose instead to say 'thank you' and express my gratitude to the God who created the heavens and the earth, who loves me as the perfect Father and who is always here in my joy and in my sorrow. Thank you, Lord, for your incredible faithfulness!"
Though I did take some pictures, there were times that I would hold up my camera and never take a picture. There was no way to capture what I saw and what I felt in the frame of that lens! I decided I would rather drink in the feelings of peace and inspiration and awestruck wonder that I felt at that moment. I would endeavor to remember. As beautiful as the Fall Foliage was, as pristine and perfect as Prince Edward Island is, as much beauty as we were priivleged to see, I found an even greater treasure along the way.
I had the joy to travel with 28 other people on this wonderful journey. I knew it the second day of tour. We were already interacting and enjoying each other in a way that usually takes a few more days. Those who had been on other tours before, recognized it too. However, as we gathered at the bus in the parking lot of the site of Anne of Green Gables on about the ninth day, something happened that made me truly realize how blessed we were to have each other. Two cruise ships had arrived that morning on Prince Edward Island. The people were loaded into buses and taken to see the sites of the island. I was struck by the fact that none of them knew each other and very few knew even what bus they were on. The bus drivers were not able to help them either. They didn't know who belonged on their bus and who did not! As I stood by and watched the confusion, I was grateful.
I was so grateful to be among great friends… indeed, 'extended family', for eighteen days. They not only knew what bus they belonged to, but they also looked after one another, cared for one another, laughed with one another and would not let one go by unnoticed. What a blessing relationships are. What richness and joy they bring to our lives! I know I have said it countless times before, but regardless of where you are traveling to, it matters even more who you are traveling with.
I consider myself abundantly blessed to have crossed paths with these 28 people. In the words of Anne, "Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world." (Anne of Green Gables) I encourage you to look around for kindred spirits as well. Take time to listen, care, laugh and even cry together. I think you will find, as I did, that you are richer for it.
Take Good Care of Each Other,