My classmates and I spent most of our time on the island of Eleuthera — a place I had been pleasantly acquainted with twice before. Its scenery and landscape? Breathtakingly picturesque. The locals? Friendly beyond measure. My memories? Utterly priceless.
- Queen’s Bath/Glass Window Bridge
When I initially visited the remarkable landmark known as Queen’s Bath, the ocean was at low tide and I had the privilege of leisurely swimming in beautiful emerald-tinted natural pools. However, my second visit at high tide was quite another experience altogether. The pools were entirely hidden by the powerful, cascading surf, crashing upon jagged rocks and roaring mightily. I was rendered speechless by this display of the strength and majesty of the ocean. This feature, a hidden gem truly fit for royalty, is my absolute favorite part of Eleuthera and is pleasurable to gaze upon regardless of differences in tide level.
Glass Window Bridge is another sight that provokes in one an undeniable feeling of reverence; this natural wonder is (quite understandably) on the “bucket list” of many. Picture, if you are willing and able, the brooding Atlantic Ocean and sparkling Caribbean Sea nearly converging, separated only by a strip of rocky cliffs that support a precariously narrow bridge. The stark contrast between these two bodies of water is truly extraordinary to witness, and fascinating wildlife can occasionally be spotted from the bridge’s high vantage point.
- Ocean Hole/Banyan Tree Grove
The Ocean Hole is quite an interesting find; this natural limestone formation contains brackish water and appears ominously bottomless. Vibrant tropical fish quickly emerge from the depths upon your arrival, seeking morsels of food. (We supplied them with a meal of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, and they seemed to find it quite satisfactory.)
Various banyan trees are scattered throughout the island of Eleuthera, but I was able to visit an especially impressive banyan grove and marvel at the incredible span and complexity of the vegetation. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, the branches are very welcoming and sturdy enough to support practically any spry visitor. Try it. I dare you. Climb a banyan tree and descend a humbled individual with a new appreciation for nature’s intricacies.
- Spider Cave
Surprisingly, I saw no arachnids whatsoever during my time in the misleadingly-named Spider Cave. However, there were many bats fluttering to and fro. I greatly appreciated the company as I explored the plethora of nooks and crannies that the winding cave had to offer. There is no need to bring a flashlight to this cave as a rather astonishing amount of natural light is provided. Also, a helpful wooden ladder makes entering and exiting the cave a breeze. During the brief hike to the cave, I spotted an intriguing message on a nearby tree; some passerby had carved “LIVE” into its tender bark. Others passed by without even acknowledging the simple word’s presence, but, to me, this encounter served as an unmistakable reminder to truly live and thrive instead of merely existing or surviving day-to-day without zeal. It’s very easy for me to get overwhelmed by my whirling thoughts and future plans and many responsibilities instead of breathing deeply and choosing to enthusiastically conquer life one adventure at a time. That pivotal moment, and the entire trip in a sense, reminded me to be intentional about lifting my eyes from menial everyday tasks and seeking God’s captivating path above all else. His Way is not created to bore the one following it; His Way is anything but mediocre. The Lord lovingly ordained every spectacular and awe-inspiring thing that there is to experience in this life. He does not intend for those wonders to be unappreciated, unseen, unloved.