Basket of Dreams

Basket of Dreams

August 7, 2014  |  Personal, Travel

I am not what anyone would call an “athletic” person. The fact that Todd and I met on a canoe trip is nothing short of a miracle, but that’s a story for another time. I love to walk, but words like “hike” and “trek” give me pause. Words like “climb”? Not usually for me.

But vacations are often a chance to try new things, to sample adventure, to see what it feels like to surprise yourself. Last January, Todd and I were lucky enough to travel to New Zealand with our friends Bob and Maria, and lo and behold, that was me on the banana boat, me in the jet boat, and me in the gondola heading up the mountain. Me!

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, those moments of daring can yield lasting results. That has been true for me since the day we decided to walk — no, hike — no, climb! — to the top of Queenstown Hill. (They say hill. I say mountain.) It was a challenge for me, especially since I didn’t have the proper shoes or socks. But we were not in a hurry, and I got to see the red and white fairy tale toadstools and the unexpected collection of cairns along the way. There were many times when I thought, “When I get to the next bend, I’m gonna turn around.” But there was always the next bend beckoning. I was hot and thirsty and sweaty when we finally reached the top. And very proud.

It doesn’t matter that other people strolled and breezed and jogged (jogged!) past us. For me, it was a climb.

The views from the top were spectacular, of course. But my special reward was coming upon the beautiful sculpture called “Basket of Dreams”. I thought we would just climb up, look around, and climb down again. But here was a perfect congratulation, a cherry on top, a little something extra for the ones who do the work.

Maybe I was just weary, but it moved me and it has stayed with me.

‘Cause I’ve got dreams. There are many things I want to see, and do, and accomplish that will require a boldness that doesn’t come naturally to me. So I need to remind myself: I can get there, one step at a time, blisters notwithstanding.

There’s a great big basket up there. I don’t want to leave it empty.

Click on the first image below to enlarge it and scroll through the slideshow.


  1. As usual, your pictures are stunning and bring the place to life for me! But even more inspiring is your story. I also do not see myself as an adventurer, a risk-taker, and yet, when I have gone out of my comfort zone, the rewards are incalculable.

  2. Thank you, Janet! I love those moments when I surprise myself, don’t you? It’s nice to know we are still learning and stretching — still willing to take chances, however small. I agree, the rewards far outweigh the risks. Go us!

  3. Wow. What amazing pictures and what inspiring words. I love that basket of dreams. . .

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