Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Three, Chapter Two, Part One – Unexpected Discoveries
“Often overlooked and ignored, unexpected discoveries offer us unique opportunities to delve deeper into life’s mysteries. For it is in these wondrous discoveries, that serendipity can and often does catch us unawares. She offers us the possibility of pursuing new avenues, pathways and journeys that only moments before, didn’t seemingly exist ~ forever changing, our lives…” – Mark D. Jones
Summer vacation was soon coming to a close, as Jonathan only had a couple of short weeks left before third grade started. He was sad to see his grandfather depart that morning, but it was with happiness and joy that everyone said goodbye. The understanding looks from the night before had led to a mending of fences within their family, as Jonathan’s father for the first time finally saw his father as he truly was, and not at all in the way he had imagined him to be his entire life. The two of them talked late into the evening after dinner, joined later by Julia, and for the first time everyone really enjoyed each other’s company. It was a happy moment in the life of the Spencer Family and the Spencer Family Farm, and Jonathan felt as if a great weight had lifted – not only from their family, but from his pursuit of adventuring as well.
After breakfast, Jonathan told his mother he would go for a hike with Sammy beyond the wheat field into the wood, and not only did his mother not protest and require he spend his morning doing chores around the farm, but she packed him lunch, and a variety of snacks and water for his outing – along with treats for Sammy. After rounding Sammy up from chasing rabbits over by the soybean field, the two adventurers were on their way following the same path they traveled the day before with Gramps. They paused long enough to enjoy a couple of snacks on the same fallen log they had lunched on yesterday, before continuing their trek towards the large egg-shaped boulder in the clearing. It was there that Jonathan recalled Gramps’ process of traveling to the far side of his imagination to travel beyond space and time – focus your thoughts, enter your zone, free your thoughts to float, imagine them swirling around your mind, invite them to float free beyond your mind, and then release your consciousness or awareness to follow them – simple.
Jonathan thought about the process Gramps described, but first had other intentions for the morning. He had seen a small gully through the trees beyond the bolder yesterday, and wanted to investigate it further and explore where it led. This is what Jonathan loved about adventuring. He knew there would always be unexpected discoveries found in places he’d never traveled to in the past, and often even familiar territory yielded new things he hadn’t seen before during their prior trips. He imagined the gully formed the beginnings of a small stream, and wanted to investigate how far they would have to follow it in order to find running water. Jonathan always had ideas, and once an idea formed in his mind he felt it had to be investigated – after all, that’s what any good explorer would do, right?
After he and Sammy had gone perhaps a hundred yards or so through thickets and brambles without finding a stream, he was about to turn back when he saw a small shadow behind some bushes. There was a small rock face there where the gully started to deepen, as if over time erosion had uncovered the rocks. Curious as to what the shadow might be, he fought his way through a number of brambles until discovering what caused the shadow to form. Jonathan discovered it wasn’t a shadow at all, but a small opening like a crack between rocks, that widened at its base to a couple of feet high and wide. He got down on his hands and knees and looked into the opening, wondering if he had finally discovered the fox’s den!
Sammy was eager to enter the den, but Jonathan held him back. His impression was that it was a small cave, and very deep inside. Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he could see only about ten feet into the darkness, telling Sammy, “This looks like a cave. We didn’t bring a flashlight, so I don’t want us to go into it today, but we’ll explore it on tomorrow’s hike. I read in one of my books that cave explorers are called ‘spelunkers.’ In order to do this right, I need to bring my kite string with us so I can tie one end of the string to this bush here, to make a trail back out of the cave if the flashlight’s batteries run out of juice. Let’s go home now, and plan to explore the cave tomorrow.”
Jonathan was proud of his restraint in not going into the cave that morning. He realized that exploring caves could be very dangerous business, and wanted to do it safely. Gramps would be proud of him he thought, in trying to approach adventuring from a grownup and responsible way. As they returned to the farmhouse for a second lunch, he didn’t want to alarm his mother about his plans for the next morning though, and decided to keep their plan for exploring the cave just between the two of them…