Saturday, June 07, 2008


The peace that comes to me while I am on the water is hard to describe.

It isn't only the splosh splosh splosh of river water under my paddle or the flitting larks skimming the water for their dinner-- the evening sun glinting off of their silvery wings--that pleases me. The play of light on the riverbanks which gilds grove after grove of elvish-looking ferns, the ever changing landscapes, and the sweet fishy smells of fresh water constantly enthrall me. Enthrall is really the word; I never stop admiring everything there is of the river.

I felt my body start to tire as I traveled upstream, but I focused on the luxury of the return-trip when I tip my paddle into the current only enough to set my course. The evening breeze was like a drink of water to my face and arms. The cool tender billows of moist air that buffeted my little boat were welcomed relief, especially at the close of such a hot and humid day.

An almost noiseless ripple just to my right belied the presence of a beaver. I watched carefully as he emerged yards away under the cover of a mossy outcrop.

I traveled further upstream this time, as the spring rains allowed ample room to do so. As I rounded a quiet, shaded island, I drifted to a stop in order to breathe in the sounds of the forest.
The gurgle of river-water over round stones, the sighing of willows, and the warble of red-winged blackbirds were my music. It was here that I met up with a dainty button-buck as he nibbled on shrubs. We thoroughly drank each other in as I nudged the bank with my kayak and then sat completely still. He watched me unabashedly. I watched him. I could see his nose and whiskers quiver in the soft breeze. Clover dangled from his chin. I was interrupting his dinner!

The peace that comes to me while I am on the river is a gift. As I paddle, I naturally talk with God and He talks with me. We don't have to say much, really. Just two friends enjoying each other's presence. Surrounded by His handicraft and His company, I am empowered and enriched. Completely re-charged.

As I approach the town, the sounds of traffic reach me across the water. A lawnmower buzzes in someone's backyard. A motorcycle snarls madly. The twang of a country singer ricochets from bank to bank as I draw near to the park. There is an outdoor concert tonight, which is one of the summer charms of this town.

As the clock tower chimes the half-hour, I alight from the river and drag my little boat back to the car. Long, spindly shadows reach across the grass and signal the end of a June day. Teenagers garbed in prom gowns and tuxes pose under the elm trees with the river as a backdrop. From the other side of the park, they look like jewelry in a shop window; a delight to the eye.

I leap about the car, standing on the bumper to position my kayak. After all is tightly strapped down or stowed in the trunk, I shade my eyes with my hand to watch the sunset before the drive home.

This is the best I can do to describe the peace that comes to me on the river.


Blogger TrashTidBits said...

You did a great job describing the peace that comes with kayaking. I too experience the peace that you talk of when kayaking. This is one of the reasons that I like kayaking so much. Let's go together sometime soon.

8:12 AM  

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