Tunneling to the next big discovery

I processed everything that could go wrong. What creatures I may run into. How I might get stuck. None of them seemed to be big enough threats.
So I strapped on the headlamp and started to crawl.

We were walking along the creek and stopped for a snack.

We sat down on a ledge cut out from a towering rock wall. It was the perfect resting spot. Over my shoulder I noticed a hole in the side of the canyon. I peered inside.

Not too far into the tunnel it seemed to open up enough that I could probably sit up and turn around. The initial opening was just big enough for me to army crawl through. My mind raced with options.

I could army crawl eight feet in with a headlamp, explore the opening, and still be able to turn around to exit the cave.

When I reached the opening it wasn’t just big enough for me to turn around, it was big enough for me to stand up and reach my hands over my head!
I was in awe of the discovery and so energized I yelled for Tayler to come join me.
She took some convincing.

Reveling in this secret I had uncovered, I almost missed the rest of the story.
At the back of this larger opening was another tunnel. We both could duck and waddle through. So we went for it.

At the end of the tunnel was another opening. This one larger than the first!
And evidence of active history in the cave.
A makeshift table. A rotten chair. Foam padding and piping.

Our imaginations went wild!

And then…

Another tunnel.
Stairs downward. With a handrail.

Leading to a larger opening.

What had we discovered?
Ancient life? History hidden along a tour path?

Again, another tunnel.
And another opening. This one with two more tunnels leading different directions.

The realization finally hit us.
We were in the belly of a mountain.

We consider ourselves adventurous.
We hike and explore new places all the time.
This one exceedingly topped the list.
The biggest breakthrough of our exploits.

I consider myself an explorer of ideas too.

I had a four-day weekend and spent the entire four days on my couch by myself. Not binging on Netflix. With a journal and a pen and a blank sheet of paper.

The brain was firing, the ideas were flowing, dots were connecting. I couldn’t let this moment slip just to stay on the same tour path of the weekend.

It was an opening in the cave.

You are chipping away at the rock wall of something.
Each swing of the axe is breaking pieces.
One swing is eventually going to take a big chunk out of the wall.

And then you are going to take a hundred more swings at the indentation you just made before your next big breakthrough.
And then another big chunk.
Each new opening is going to seem bigger than the last.
And each tunnel to the next will seem too small or too terrifying.

Keep chipping away.
Enjoy the new discoveries.
And then get back on your hands and knees and crawl to the next one.