The River in Summer Heat

It was very hot when I went down to the river this morning. I couldn't help but think of the times last fall and winter when it was so windy and cold that it cut through me like a knife.

I watched a lonely kayaker launch herself into the water and quickly disappear. I wondered what it would be like to be somewhere in the middle of the river or a more isolated place along its banks and just simply meditate - surrounded by nothing more than the water, the sky, and the birds. I imagine it would be simply delicious.

Recently, I had a young and beautiful yogini friend who regularly leads yoga and kayaking retreats in Mexico tell me she would teach me this sport. She said - if I was going to learn how to do it - I might as well learn the right way. I wonder if I am showing my ignorance by asking - how difficult can it be to learn how to do this?

Yesterday we went to pick up some furniture at an outdoors supply store for our deck - and I was fascinated by the diversity of kayaks displayed on a wall. I was drawn to one equipped for two paddlers, but I don't think I convinced my husband that it would be a fun thing to do. Besides, I think I would rather enjoy this experience alone. It seems like it would be perfect for an introvert.

Years ago I read the book - Deep Water Passage: A Spiritual Journey at Midlife, by Ann Linnea. The book was a journal of her experience of paddling all around Lake Superior while she was in her forties, under the most grueling of circumstances. It is was a journey of self discovery undertaken after a significant loss culminating in tremendous insights, growth, and transformation in the midst of difficult challenges confronted and deeply held wounds and heart aches. I thought the book was moving then, but I know now that I did not fully understand it at the time. I had not had some of those experiences yet - and I couldn't understand why Linnea chose to do what she did to confront her demons, but I think I have a better insight now.

I think it is time to revisit this book with new eyes and discern its message for a different period in my life.


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