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“Daddy,” gasped 5-year-old Emily, saltwater dripping from her blonde hair, “I didn’t know there was so much in the ocean!”

Em hawaii

 After several days of persistent badgering, she had convinced her parents to rent snorkel gear for her. Only a few months before, she had consistently refused to put her face in the water during swim lessons. But on a Hawaiian vacation, in the warm ocean, Emily put aside her fears. And once she saw the wonders beneath the surface of the blue water, there was no stopping her.

When they returned home, she tugged at my arm with a shy grin. When I bent down listen, she said with great pride and delight, “Nana, I snorkeled!”

How much of life do we miss because we don’t look below the surface, or beyond today’s horizon? What wonders have we not seen because we’re afraid to go around the next bend in the road, or believe that there might be something wonderful that we haven’t yet experienced?

Philip_V_Coin (2)Recently I became aware of the motto of Spain in the era following the discovery of the Americas. The Latin words, Plus Ultra¸ “More Beyond” were included on both the Spanish coat of arms and Spanish coins. Combined with the words is a representation of the Pillars of Hercules, gateway to the Mediterranean Sea, considered for ages as the limit of the known world.

When we see satellite photos on Google Earth, it’s hard to comprehend the geographic boundaries of past centuries. To imagine what might be “beyond,” stretched the limits of comprehension. Yet our minds have their own limiting “Pillars of Hercules,” beyond which we hare fearful to venture. Like Emily, we have no idea what awesome wonders we might encounter.

Are you willing to believe for “More Beyond?”