Marla and the kids came down with desserts, pastries they'd baked while we'd been talking out on the deck. Bob gave me a walk around the property, showing me the hydroelectric plant he'd built on a stream, and explaining what the land looked like before the lodge, which he had created in a place where once there had been nothing. I asked Bob what was the key to living such a great story (filled with fun and international work and friends) , and Bob seemed uncomfortable with the idea he was anything special. But he wanted to answer my question, so he thought about it and said he didn't think we should be afraid to embrace whimsy. I asked him what he meant by whimsy, and he struggled to define it. He said it's that nagging idea that life could be magical; it could be special if we were only willing to take a few risks.
We spent nearly eight hours with the Goff family. They didn't want us to go, and we didn't want to go either. But around midnight we realized we still had to paddle several hours in order to make it to our campsite on the other side of the inlet, so we gathered our things on the dock.
I thanked Bob for the food and towels and especially for the stories. I asked him if I could get in touch with him. He said he'd love to and gave me his e-mail address. I put my gear in the kayak, and Bob kneeled down on the wet dock and held it close as I lowered myself into the boat. I told him thanks and that I was sorry he got his knees wet. He looked at me and smiled and said it was nothing just wait.
I wasn't sure what he meant by that, but as we pushed off this dock and the other guys got into their boats and pressed off, we back-paddled into the dark of the inlet, waving at the Goffs as they waved back at us. And then to our amazement, we saw all of them, fully dressed with shoes and jackets, take three steps together and jump into the water, coming up and waving and shouting their good-byes.
~Don Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years