Posts Tagged ‘rain’

Day Three. Kayaking.

For all my time on the water, I’ve never been in a kayak.  So on Day Three, I set out to remedy that. 

It seems like a no-brainer and no big deal, but somewhere in my past “kayak” became synonymous with “tipping” and “drowning.”  I fear drowning more than everything else.  It seems silly.  So I wanted to set it straight for myself. 

I don’t wish to be ruled by fear.

As I crossed over the river on my way to the parking lot I noticed the river was much higher than I expected.  And moving quickly.  It was loud as it rushed down stream.  My nerves listened and began to talk to me.  “Perhaps it’s not smart to do this alone,” they whispered in my ear and poked at my insides making me feel uncomfortable.  “What if…”

I cut them off right there.  I refuse to live by ‘what if’s.”  So I boldly, perhaps a little militarily, shut my car door, marched up to the desk, registered, received my instructions and then headed outside to the river.

The launching spot was crowded as groups of people waited for their canoes, laughing, swinging around their oars and hefting coolers about.  One couple ran through the mele as their dog chased them in maze-like fashion in its over-excited and under-controlled curiosity. 

I was starting to become impatient and immediately decided that the minute I hit the water, I’d take off ahead of the crowd…if I could manage to do so.  Otherwise it was going to be a LONG–and potentially unenjoyable–trip down river.

My resolve only grew as the wait dragged on and on.  I admit, I encouraged the impatience because it removed my energy from the nerves that continued to spin in my tummy and prick at my mind.

Finally, I climbed into my kayak and paddled easily out to the center of the river for a quick “lesson,” mandatory for all kayakers. 

Then, true to my resolve, I was off.  The crowd faded quickly behind me as I paddled hard, left than right, windmill style.  But that’s when I noticed I kept drifting right.  Could it be my left stroke was stronger than my first?  Maybe I wasn’t seated properly in the seat?  Or my oar wasn’t equal in my grip?

I examined each possibility between strokes.  Which is when I noticed that I hadn’t adjusted the seat nor stirrups before heading off down river.  Hmmmm…

I leaned down to fiddle with the inside of the boat and felt the rocking of the vessel.  Hmmmmm…  I was bit by an uncontrollable urge to test the rocking threshold.  I put the oar down and proceeded to rock side to side.  Surprisingly, I was almost disappointed to find the vessel to be just as stable as the canoe. 

I felt foolish. 

All that wasted fear on nothing for all those years.  I promptly decided to change the focus from testing to challenge and began to dig in harder.  By mile 2, my arms were beginning to feel leaden.  But I found myself surrounded by easy-going, loud, groups faltering down the river and pressed myself to move past in search of solitary.

That’s when the rain started.  A drip here.  A drip there.  Just enough to pique a person’s curiosity toward the sky so that when I looked up, I was instantly deluged with raindrops.  I laughed out loud, nearly losing my oar as I wiped my face on my shirt.  I was soaked through almost instantly.

How odd to not worry about the rain for a change!  Perhaps it was a testament to my new friendship with the rain from the adventure the day before.

The rumbling thunder was all the confirmation I needed; I laughed again.

The river, however, demanded my attention once more.  No longer smooth and glassy, providing clues to potential obstacles hidden just below its surface, it was now pitted and pocked.  My focus shifted into full gear as I resumed paddling. 

By mile 4, my arms were burning.  I began to wonder if I had been smart to sign up for the longer trip down river.  Or perhaps it was just that with the trip reminding me of all the other time I’d spent on the water, I needed another distraction…or challenge.

I began spending more time evaluating the splits when an island appeared to see which looked less inviting–then choosing that side for my path.  The first two “challenging” splits were wide open and easy to maneuver.  However, just as should be, the third one narrowed quickly, rushing quickly in a zig-zag motion as it progressed.  Large trees hung low armed with spider webs, small hornets nests and armies of dragonflies taking shelter from the rain.

I’d like to say it was a challenge and quite the adventure.  However, instead I must report that I surprised myself completely with some fast-acting paddling that moved me elegantly through the pass.  The nerves that had given way to pressure for adventure were momentarily silent before I heard them exclaim “WOW!  Where did THAT come from?!” 

I couldn’t help it.  I laughed at myself again and picked up the oar to paddle again. 

By the time I climbed out of the kayak, my spirits were as light as my arms were heavy.  As I removed my life jacket, I noticed they moved clumsily, my hands shaking , and my shoulders aching.  Ahhh…there’s nothing more of a testament to accomplishment as sore muscles. 

Day Three.  I’ll be feeling it long into Day six

Read Full Post »


The Fates continue causing a maddening swirl all around me. They don’t want me to become complacent as I have been so many times before. This time, however, I do not curse them the way I have so many times before.  Instead, I turn to the Muses for direction.

I don’t know where I should be heading.

I am lost.

Please help me.

I meditate, I write, I sing, I think and I meditate some more, and yet I find no direction.

I’m tired of being lost.  I’m tired of the effort.  I’m tired of drifting in the universe.

I try to embrace my Lojong and Bodhisattva training, but find that filled with apathy and emptiness too. I tell myself that I must still have something to learn from this state, but everyone else around me has moved on…and I am still still.

Perhaps I should remain so.

I see people walking in the desert.  They strip and begin to tire not knowing, as they slow, stop, sit and feel sleepy that they are dying of dehydration. They have canteens full of water with them, and their car is within sight.  They are only  moments away from safety, still they slowly evaporate unknowingly.  Because it feels so good to be still.

They tell me to relax.  Look to the horizon and expand my soul; to stop seeking wisdom and answers; just be.

Their angel finds them and tells them to move.

I wonder, where is my angel?

He whispers in my ear “I’m watching you strangle yourself. When will you let go?”

I feel immeasurable love, and suddenly am aware of the rigidness of my mind, heart, body and soul. I breathe and relax. I soften my gaze and look to the horizon.  The answers I seek are not within.  No wonder I tire of seeking it there.

A love song of unusually tender gentleness plays in my ear as my Angel sings to me.

“You will not be alone.”

I cry.

And at that moment, the sky cries with me, the rain touching my skin, caressing it the way that I had longed for fingertips to.  I remember other times when I wasn’t alone the way I am now standing staring singularly out to the world.  I long for words too.  And they instantly resonate in my ear and mind.  My Angel has not left me yet.

“No I will not leave you crying. No, I will not let you down.”

I am petulant and want to KNOW and so, as the desert dwellers did, invite the Dark Night to envelop me.  My Fairy Godmother stands at the ready.  She knows I still believe and commands the Sun to smile at me through the dark clouds above. I cannot trick my Fairy Godmother, nor my Angel, nor the Universe.  I send my apology out to them.  I feel like a child.

“You must choose to move,” whispers my Angel.  “One step, in any direction.  That’s all.”  I envision dominos stretching into the horizon and beyond.  I alone can start the reaction.

“You will not be forgotten, and you will not be alone.”

I kiss the music with my voice in that sweet sensual spot of sound that has always known best how to please and protect and persuade me.

I look up from the horizon to the sky and watch the clouds race around me. I feel small and suddenly sick with vertigo.  But also immeasurably safe.

Yes, I am in the storm, and I will be okay. I smell the rain mixing with earth, I hear the whispered glee of the wind and feel my heart lighten as I step just to keep moving.  I look to the Universe to guide me once again.

Read Full Post »