Kurt, my husband, has wanted a kayak for years. Every time we have the chance to kayak on vacation, he is all about it. There is something about being on the water. Kayaking takes you to places you simply can’t get to with other modes of transportation. We finally ordered a kayak – tandem, inflatable, with upgraded seats. It took almost a month for it to arrive, and another week for us to procure the necessary lifejackets. But, we did it! We got the kayak. We figured out (thank you, YouTube) how to assemble and inflate it, and we put it on the water.
Oh wow! What an amazing experience. No motor, of course. It’s so quiet. We can hear the water lap against the bottom of the boat. We can hear the frogs. We can hear the hawk overhead. Just recently, I ran into a huge school of minnows and you could actually hear them jumping up out of the water. The sounds are only one gift of the kayak. The sunshine and the breeze provide the perfect accompaniment to the water. There is a certain smell about open water – crisp, cool, full of life. We are taking it all in.
Kurt never asked for a kayak. He did desire it, but he never pined away. He just knew that it would be a way to experience one of our great loves…the water. Now that we have it, I wish we hadn’t waited so many years. This kayak gets me out of my head and I desperately need that. I need a way to experience something besides my own perception of the world. I need a place where thinking, strategizing, and planning aren’t necessary. I need to lean in to the gift of my five senses telling me all I need to know about the world.
The fall weather makes me want to stick that boat in the trunk and head to the water anytime I can. What I’ve noticed is how much more peace I have in the rest of my life. When I’m stuck in a no-win situation, I don’t stress nearly as much. When I have a long to-do list, I can slow down and take it one item at a time. And, I am more aware of the gift of being outside anytime I can make it so.
Do you have a way or a place that gets you out of your head? Do you set aside time to pay attention to the world around you without needing to be the center of it? Boy, it’s worth it. I wonder what strife could be put to rest if more people took a few hours a week to paddle a kayak. I know that is way too simple of a solution. I also know that it has been amazingly effective at knocking off some of my rough edges. Enjoy this little moment from one of our recent trips.