Everyone has heard Carpe Diem, otherwise known as Seize the Day, but I am challenging us to do even better: Carpe Praesenti, a.k.a. Seize the Moment.
My. family and I, which consists of Myself, My Wife, and two boys we will call Four and Eight. We had planned a trip with the in-laws which consists of the same family unit, though we’ll call the boys Five and Ten, to Grants Pass Oregon. Camping in this sense included two Yurts, a compromise to make the ladies a little more comfortable. Otherwise it was a normal camping outing, hiking at Oregon Caves, fishing in the Rogue River and Selmac Lake, lots of fire, and our seize the moment opportunity.
The third day we were hiking Little Falls Trail on the Illinois river, a nice moderate hike, which happens to wind along above the river for about half a mile. As we were hiking I kept seeing great opportunities for rock jumping into the crystal clear water but my hiking mates did not seem to notice this opportunity as they appeared to be caught up in “completing the trail.”
My first attempt to get everyone down to the water failed miserably as I simply turned off the trail and started towards the water to a warning of “That is prime rattlesnake country down there.” So no followers.
But no rattlesnakes either, so undeterred I caught up to the group and announced that we needed to go down to the river. To which I received some half-hearted attempts at deterring me, so I enlisted Ten and Eight. Yes! Mothers can not let even their oldest babies out of sight in the woods. When we got down to the rocky edge it was an obviously a great place to jump from rocks and swim in the river. Without hesitation, Eight and Ten plus me found our jumping spots, counted to three, and jumped!
The water was as good as it looked and we played for about half an hour. The best part was when Ten said, “This is the best time of my life!” He then rebel yelled and jumped into the water.
Of the entire trip, I will wager that the boys, especially Eight and Ten, will remember the rock jumping and take their opportunities when they present themselves. All this happened because I stopped and said to myself, “I will not go quietly. I will seize this moment.”