While we were in Florida over the weekend, our family planned a little excursion to go shark teeth hunting in the Peace River. We hunt for shark teeth often in the creeks near our house, but I’ve never been on a guided expedition like this one. Scott and Oakley met Fred with Paleo Discoveries on their last father-son trip to Florida. They had such a good time that we decided to squeeze in a day trip after all the wedding festivities. Somehow I imagined a leisurely float trip on a sunny Florida day, roaming around, sifting for shark teeth, sharing stories of great finds, laughing, splashing and enjoying the bag full of snacks I packed. I wasn’t entirely wrong.
But I certainly wasn’t exactly right either.
After we carried the heavy canoes from the car to the water and loaded the kids in the canoe with Fred, I thought most of the hard work was surely over. We launched into the peaceful, still water and glided gently around the bend. The breeze was gentle, the birds were chirping and all was well in the world. For a moment, it was vacation. . . until we hit the current. Suddenly, there was work to be done. The river that had seemed so peaceful and still was now fighting against our efforts to journey through it. Even though Scott was doing to bulk of the rowing, I was getting worn out.
Mama wasn’t prepared for this.
Just when we thought we were surely close to getting a few minutes to rest, Fred informed us we were almost there. Only a mile to go! We’d previously agreed that Scott would steer and I would simply provide support from my perch in the front. But as we both tired, and the boat was drifting from side to side, the fun wore off quickly. We were constantly overcorrecting each other’s strokes. I got a tree branch to the face, we got stuck in shallow gravel and had to push ourselves out, and he got stern directions about when to steer clear of approaching obstructions.
Let’s just say it got a little spicy.
When we finally reached our first stop, we were ready for a splash of that ice-cold river water. It was simultaneously shocking and wonderful. We waded in to begin our long-awaited hunt. We dug, shoveled, and sifted for the next four hours. It was a fascinating experience on every level. We were intent on finding Megalodon teeth, but it turns out there are loads of other intriguing fossils to be found. We found every kind of shark tooth imaginable, including a couple of fabulous megs. We found over 1000 shark teeth in all, plus everything from dolphin teeth, turtle shell, and stingray barb, to mammoth vertebrate. It was entirely exhausting and extremely rewarding all at the same time.
The adventure was worth the effort.
What began as a peaceful drift down a beautiful, calm river, shifted quickly into hard work and effort that wasn’t optional. In order to get to the good stuff, we had to do the hard, and sometimes spicy, work. Giving up wasn’t an option, and it paid off in spades. We worked hard, but we did it together. We laughed and made memories that will last a lifetime. And the ride home? It was peaceful and calm and relaxing. It was totally worth it.
All of life is like that.
We start out with a lovely vision and simple expectations, only to find out things aren’t usually what they first seem. Whether it’s marriage, friendship, raising children, starting a business, or learning a new hobby, there’s almost always a bit of unexpected work. There’s usually a current pushing against you, just when you think it’s time to rest.
Don’t give up.
Quitting isn’t an option for you. You are stronger than you think. Push through those aching shoulders and that tired back. I know you’re exhausted. Rest will come.
When it does, you will find the adventure is worth the effort.
to more love,