Most of us have heard the expression, “fighting your way to the top.” Well, sometimes you just have to push your way to the bottom…The bottom of the world that is.
Here’s the story. I grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a single parent household with my mother and sister. While we weren’t wealthy, my mother managed to provide us with more than we needed and quite a bit of what we wanted. We had ups and downs, but mostly ups. One of my mother’s favorite things to say was, “well, try it and see.” It could apply to anything from climbing a tree to trying a new food. Being the cautious little girl that I was, her encouragement didn’t do much to make me a real explorer of anything other than good books. However, my mother’s urging to strive for more, to climb and to reach new heights worked. So you can imagine her shock when I ended up at the very bottom of the earth.
In December I had the extreme pleasure of visiting the South Pole, Antarctica to be exact. Trust me when I say that it is the last place (no pun intended) on earth I thought I’d ever visit. First of all, I don’t vacation in cold places. Second, if I did, it would look more like a lodge on a mountain with a hot tub and a toasty fire.
1. A quick stop at Ushuaia, Argentina.
The last city on earth.
2. Nesting time in the
3. The mighty
4. Climbing out of 0 degree
water in the Antarctic ocean.
5. Trekking to the top of
6. Wexie the Weddell seal,
named by me.
Certainly it wouldn’t include boarding a boat in Ushuaia, Argentina, the last city on earth, rocking and rolling (literally) through the Drake Passage [a body of water connecting the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean (Scotia Sea) with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean that can be very rough] or climbing glaciated mountains. It also wouldn’t include the surprise of watching a family of six orca whale swimming outside of my window in the middle of dinner, Weddell seals waving to me while relaxing on a slab of an iceberg, walking beside chin strap and Gentoo penguins, climbing to the highest point of Culverville or walking on a black beach covered in snow and discovering hot springs with temperatures above 110 degrees.
7. Craddling a piece of
8. A family Orca Whales
showing up at dinner time.
9. God is good. A
10. Hot springs on
It was a ten-day cruise that yielded more highs than I could have ever imagined. It was the longest time I’d ever been a way from my children. I missed them so, even had a few mild meltdowns; but recovered quickly after seeing a family of four Crab Eater seals swam right up below my deck or a Humpback whale leaped out of the water. Some-how that moment of missing my children was soothed by God’s wonderful works. It confirmed for me that it was truly a moment for me…It was my time to rejuvenate, re-energize and recoup some of the fire that was in my belly.
When I reached the highest point of Culverville Island, after a scary and lengthy trek up, I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I felt like I was achieving something for everyone who’s come before me. It was a journey for moms, for divorcees, for women for new entrepreneurs and for the little girls who will dream bigger and do better be- cause we showed them they could.
While we’re teaching and encouraging our children to fight to get to the top, let them not forget the importance of the bottom. And that while there is much to see and to learn when you’re at the bottom… you just can’t stay there.
Let’s live wise and explore motherhood. . .together.