It Was Awesome

Last week my wife and I spent an evening at Crater Lake National Park.  While the deep blue water of the lake is reason enough to visit, I was there primarily for the clear, dark, moonless sky that would prove ideal for stargazing.  (The sunset and following sunrise were a delightful bonus!)  Seeing the Milky Way over Crater Lake was an Oregon bucket list item I was looking forward to checking off.

Wile we were at an overlook on the east side of the lake, with our picnic dinner watching the sunset, we met a guy named Aaron from Columbus Ohio that was traveling through Oregon after a recent business trip.  He was telling us that he and his wife were eager to move out to Oregon after some family obligations that wee keeping them in Ohio.

We continued taking as the sun set, until finally the darkened sky revealed the Milky Way that stretched overhead from north to south.  It was absolutely beautiful.

The three of us took turns pointing out satellites, and shooting starts and unanimously agreeing that this was awesome.

It was awesome, and not just the starts.  I think it was awesome that even during this season of so much division and turmoil in our country and world, my wife and I could share such a cool experience with someone who, hours before was a stranger, but someone who left as a friend.

May we all be on the lookout for opportunities to share a kind word, friendly conversation, or cool experience with those around us.

More Similar Than Not

My wife and I spend a long weekend in New York City a couple of weeks ago.  It was our second time in the city and we got to see several sights we didn’t get to on our first visit, like Ellis Island, the 9/11 museum, and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on a beautiful sunny day.  We had a great time!

One of my favorite things about being in New York City is hearing all the different languages being spoken and interacting with people from all over the world.  It again reminds me that regardless of where we’re from or our cultural background, we’re all more similar than we realize.

For example, we were outside Federal Hall Saturday morning the same time as a large group from China.  I was intrigued by this group as I noticed how they all wanted their picture taking under the large statue of George Washington.  I especially enjoyed watching all of the different poses they were making.  There was everything from the classic family vacation photo, to the “thumbs up” sign, as well as both arms stretched skyward, all the while, with faces displaying big genuine grins.

Federal Hall

We witnessed this type of scene being played out throughout the city with people from all over the globe.  Regardless of their culture or homeland, they looked like tourists having a good time.  In that respect, we all looked the same.

It was refreshing to see, in light of current global political climate.  There seems to be a lot of focus, and likely fear, on how we’re different from one another.  It was nice to see just how similar we are all as fellow human beings.