It has been there for hundreds of years at least. Right in plain sight every time I’ve been here. But it took me seven years to discover it.
It’s Day Two at Windermere, and I’ve decided to go with the official count of days, even though its really Day Three…
Today I discovered the Windermere Cave. Literally 100 feet from my room, and right on the way to the hall where we meet. Maybe the sign was the dead giveaway…
You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I love exploring. Buried somewhere deep in this old man hobbit-like body beats the heart of an explorer who dabbles in poetry and music and art. I love taking paths unknown to me, and I like to think of every trip as an opportunity for adventure.
With our morning and midday sessions done, I determined to do some exploring today. First stop…the Cave!
I’ve always loved caves. I remember as a kid going to Rickwood Caverns in Alabama, and several trips to Ruby Falls. My mom was fairly claustrophobic but I was in underground heaven. In high school our church would do a week at Camp Lurecrest in NC, where the pull of Bat Cave always proved irresistible. Ironically, the Kevin Williams Band does a June camp every year in NC not far from there. One of these years a return to the Bat Cave will be in order.
The Windermere Cave is not much to speak of in comparison. But it IS a cave and a cool break from 90 degree heat. It only goes back a hundred feet or so, but when I entered the cave mouth, I was flooded with memories.
As a kid I fell in love with ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ thanks to my sister Marie. Wandering through a cave I was transported to Middle Earth and I was in the goblin tunnels under the Misty Mountains or in the Mines of Moria. What was around the next turn in the passage? A dead end or a secret path into the heart of the mountain?
I’m no kid and that was a long time ago. But still I was filled with the same sense of wonder at discovering one of the ‘…deep places of the earth’ as Tolkien would tell it.
For some, caves are just dark, wet holes in the ground. An interesting diversion at best. But for others they represent a place of safety or refuge.
Caves have also served as prisons and tombs. Touring the Roman catacombs and Paul’s prison are lodged in my cave memory as well.
I don’t honestly know why I love caves. They have a constant cool temperature (wonderful in the hot Missouri summer), they provide shelter from the elements, and they are easily defensible.
Blah blah blah boring but true facts. I just know that the sound of solitary drops of water in a deep pool that never sees the sun is just freaking cool!
I’m not sure there’s really much of a point to this post. I warned you on Saturday this might be the case.
So if you ever find yourself on an adventure and in one of these ‘deep places’ do me a favor? Shout out my name and let me echo through those caverns in spirit if nothing else.