Water – log: 8/31/ second year– This beautiful day finds me back in the middle of the lake again. The summer has been filled with heavy thunder storms – more than I can ever remember being aware of before. Is it the awareness or the storms that has increased? This is my second ‘alone’ day here and I am settling into the quiet. My mind has been crowded with thoughts, ideas, and revelations this past year. I welcome the quiet time to contemplate and digest it all – or at least to start. I am so fortunate to have many wonderful friends around me. One has been walking by my side despite the distance between us, and knows just what I mean when I talk about a new or strange incident or synchronicity. Another is always open to exploration, wondering and wonderment, and the connections between it all. And yet another seems full of wisdom from her own life experiences, and is good at listening and hearing what I am trying so hard to explain to myself. This journey would be much harder without their company and loving friendship.
I allowed my kayak to float at the will of the wind and currents, and have landed back where I started so I paddled to the middle again. A deep sigh has escaped from my lungs several times –a sign I have come to recognize as giving in to relaxation and release. Now I’ve ended up in the weeds at one end of the lake, the drifting halted by long thin stems anchored in the earth beneath the water; grounding me. I am beginning to feel more grounded in my life –but my feet are not solidly rooted yet. I still need a gentle tug to catch me when I start drifting. Perhaps one day I will have my feet on the ground while also reaching for the sky and swaying with the wind and water.
Water – log: 9/2/ – I woke at 6:30 AM and decided to do an early morning paddle in the mist that hid even the nearby shore. I’ve wanted to do this for some time, but was fearful of something I couldn’t quite name – maybe the resemblance to the shadows in the woods of my childhood? Heart thumping, I pushed off into the lake and slowly paddled down one side of the small section to the left. Despite limited vision, familiarity encouraged me forward. It was quiet, no sound, no view beyond my boat. I barely moved my paddle through the water, drifting, only directing movement to avoid limbs of fallen trees. The rising rays of the sun tugged at the mist, slowly lifting it from the surface as I floated. A sense of contentment moved outward from my body, into the boat, through the boat, into the water and the rocks and the dirt and the trees. I could distinguish every individual item that surrounded me, but boundaries between us melted. I existed as myself, but also as everything else, encompassed in peace, truly understanding – feeling – the concept of ‘oneness’ for the first time, as surroundings stretched into infinity. The limitations of words cannot communicate the expansiveness of the experience. As I became conscious of the sensation it slid away as quickly as it had engulfed me. I tried to reenter the state, but trying seemed to close the door. I had floated into another dimension of perception, one never crossed into before, one I could not control with intention. I started paddling towards the beaver dam in hopes of catching a glimpse as they take their morning trip across the lake. Approaching, drifting quietly, I scanned but didn’t see. I dipped my paddle, just once, and heard the loud thwap of tail on water behind me, warning others while escaping from view. I sat quietly for a while longer, hoping for a resurfacing, but to no avail. I continued to paddle the small lake, so familiar yet full of surprises. The sun continues to rise as I sit and write. The lake is a perfect mirror of the surroundings, the reflections somehow even more vivid than the real. My face is settled into a smile this morning, I think of Carol King’s song Beautiful – “you’ve got to wake up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart….” I paddle to the other end and see the blue heron, still as can be as I slip by.
Water – log: 9/6/ (labor day) – Ron, Tyra, Chester (our bull dog), Blue (our long haired white cat) and I have all been at the lake since Saturday – a record stay! It has been overcast and chilly – still beautiful to me, but I’m afraid it will cloud the memory of this trip for everyone else. Ron only brought shorts and T shirts – we were supposed to hike today, but it is too cold for just shorts and T shirt right now. Maybe it will warm up later. I am of course in the middle of the lake. I saw the heron again – it feels like a friend, comforting to see it where I hoped it might be –perched so elegantly on a fallen tree parallel to the shore –as still as a branch, and the same color. The beauty of hundreds of vignettes – nature’s compositions – strikes me deeply today. I would love to photograph them all, yet realize I could not catch the full beauty because much of it is within me, the feelings provoked by it all. I am thankful for the awakening of the ability to see and appreciate so many simple things in my surroundings. I can’t seem to get enough. To be continued…..