I don’t have a specific time that I had “mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe”.
My experiences are more varied. I was fortunate enough to travel to some amazing places in my youth. A few places stand out more than others.
The first place that I was in awe of was Rocky Mountain National Park in general and it’s the highest peak, Long’s Peak. I got to hike to the summit twice. It’s an awe-inspiring, amazing place that on a clear day you can see hundreds of miles in a few directions.
The first year I ascended to the summit was an overcast day and it was difficult to see. I was able to go back the next year and get to the top on a much clearer day. It was amazing to know I could see a few states that were hundreds of miles away.
The year following being able to hike to the summit of Long’s Peak I spend six weeks during the summer in Israel. While there I got to go to Masada. I had learned about Masada through many years of religious classes. Being able to get to the top of Masada meant a lot more being there than listening to stories about it or seeing it on a slide.
Out of 40 teens and four adult counselors in our group I was the third one to reach the top. My training over the previous few years set the tone for me to be able to be one of the people in our group to set the pace. We made it up for sunrise and it was an amazing experience.
The most beautiful place I have ever been in the United States is Sedona, Arizona. It’s different from any place I have ever been, particularly in the U.S. Its red rocks and mountainous terrain and canyons would inspire almost everyone.
My final sense of awe came in 1994. I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer for the 1994 World Cup in the media area. Because I volunteered for two months leading up to the June kickoff, I was asked to work on the field for the opening ceremonies.
It was an experience that I was truly “struck with mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe.” Being able to do a job that two billion people around the world would like to have been doing was an incredible experience.
I shared the field with international soccer stars, and entertainment superstars Oprah Winfrey, Jon Secada, and Diana Ross. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and American President Bill Clinton were in attendance and yet I had a better view of the action than they did.
These are all experiences I will never forget. Someday I’d like to at least get back to Long’s Peak and Sedona.