So I guess you could say that today was a bit of a rollercoaster for everybody. We knew that we were going on a long hike today, 9 miles in total. It was an amazing hike and I enjoyed every bit of it. The hike was difficult and especially difficult for me because the part of the soles of my hiking shoes decided to fall off so now I have some horrible blisters but the result from the group’s hard work was worth it. We got to see the Herbert Glacier which was truly amazing to see. Not only did I get to learn about the amazing parts of nature, I also got to learn about the amazing parts about each person on the trip. While hiking for about 3 hours I really got to learn a lot about the people around me. Helen played a fun game where she went around to the other pilgrims and asked them about their “life story.” And while at first many of the stories devolved to jokes and humor, sometimes I got to see really special moments where people got to connect through these stories that were being told, whether it was things they can relate with or people that they both happen to know. For the first time this trip I really got to feel like we were becoming a family instead of just being a group of pals.
The group only grew closer from there. That night was the first night that some of the pilgrims got to cook for the rest of the group and I was lucky enough to be part of the first group. We made tacos and it was a great success. I was happy with the result and I really enjoyed working to make something wonderful with my group that everybody would enjoy. The end of the day however was where it got truly wonderful. We had our evening prayer in the chapel at the shrine, and while I don’t really consider myself a religious person, I really enjoyed getting to listen each person as they talked about their favorite parts of the day and where they were able to find God in the world. After that we all gathered together near the shore to watch the sunset, or least it tried to since the sun never truly sets in Alaska. Here in this gathering, we started a game together which is what really inspired me to write this. We started by having each person in the circle talk about an insecurity they had. Yes, it was difficult at first, but it was nice to see everybody, even the adults, open themselves up to the rest of the group and trust them. After that we decided to let each person go around and talk about one or two of their strengths or best qualities. Seeing each person find something that made them truly unique was amazing to witness. It allowed people to realize that the insecurities that they had mentioned earlier were overpowered by these things and the support and love of the rest of the group. I felt like I became much closer to these people that I now consider my family.
The thoughts and observations of our Journey to Adulthood pilgrims on their journey to Alaska.
Keep our kids
in your prayers: