The Last Time (A Toast to Exploration)

A while ago, I was inspired to write a toast for a group traveling aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird in the San Juan Islands. We were together for only two days but in that time were able to hike, kayak and spend a sunny afternoon watching killer whales feed.  At one point during the hike I noticed a woman bending down to touch some flowers and I bent down to do the same.  I wondered, when is the last time I did this?  It got me thinking.  That night, I read this.  It received a great response, so I'm sharing it here with you: 

The Last Time (A Toast to Exploration)

When is the last time that you knelt down and felt the ground beneath your feet?  When you ran your hands over juniper roots or purple petaled wildflowers, and wondered about the world around you?  

When is the last time that you noticed a sweetness in the air, and breathed deeper to fill your lungs, purposefully, wakefully?

When is the last time you didn’t care about getting your shoes wet?  Or lying on the ground because, hey, that’s the only way to get the shot?

Or when you stopped—just stopped—and in the silence of the forest, listened to a bird’s singular song?  

When is the last time you said wow?  Or tasted something so delicious you put your fork down to really taste it.  Or when you were consumed with anticipation—for killer whales this afternoon, or, maybe, for dessert tonight?  

Did these times make you feel excited? Awake?  Alive?  For me, all of the above.  If you felt the same, we should cherish that.  But here’s the thing about last times.  We cannot let them be the last time—not for ourselves, not for others.  

This world is too interesting, too rich, too incomprehensibly magical to exist without us peeking around every corner, turning over every rock, asking every question.  In our time here, there should not be lasts, only firsts and nexts.  If we keep to that, what great discoveries we can make.  

So let’s raise a glass and toast--to exploration, to inspiring others to explore, and to the next time that we can all do it together.

~Thank you.