This journal entry was written May 29, 2008, and is not about a specific kayaking trip, it is about all the trips. At that point, we had been away from kayaking for almost three years -- more about why in another post -- and I had stopped to ask myself exactly what it was I liked so much about kayaking.
The original journal essay is in blue. Glen's additional thoughts are in green, mine in red.
What do I like about kayaing? Here was my answer:
It is so ironic to me that I DO like it, because when Glen first started talking about getting a kayak, I was certain I wouldn't like it. From the very first trial run in Marie's kayak, however, it was something I really enjoyed.
Let me take it step by step through a trip. . .
GLEN: My favorite thing about kayaking is how much Frances likes it. I thought she would, I knew she would, but her love for it surpasses my expectations. Anything that makes her happy makes me happy, but I also must say that I personally love it also.
I like the boats themselves. They are beautiful and incredibly well designed. I like the water, especially the reflection of the sun on it at sunrise. I love to see the sky and the clouds, and to feel the wind on the water. I love the fact that it's usually cooler on the water than on land. And, as Frances says about me, I love "see what these boats can do!"
There is almost something puzzle-like about getting the two (or three) boats in the car and safely secured. I love getting out the things that are only used for kayaking: the boats, the vests, my hat, the water shoes, the waterproof boxes we added after the capsize incident. Its like a special ritual that has to happen before the fun begins.
For the most part, I tote the boats, and The Brain (Frances) figures out how to secure two kayaks in the trunk of a Toyota Corolla. She has a method, and so far, it's worked every time.
I love putting the boat in the water. Watching it slide partially in and then sitting into it and finally feeling it slip completely into the water -- like a perfectly fitting piece of paper into an envelope. Somehow it always seems to amaze me that it stays afloat.
There is no way, by the way, to look graceful while getting into a kayak. This is a goal of mine, and I feel as if I am making progress. If I get really good, video may follow!
I love the way the boat gently glides across the water. Even if you paddle fast, the boat itself still has a gentleness to it. Somehow it encourages you to slow the pace and relax, enjoy, commune with the One who created all you see.
I love the way it feels and sounds when the paddle slips in the water. The slightest whisper of a sound and the push of the boat past a wall of water. I even love the little splashes that run down my arm and drip on my legs and help keep me cool.
I love the flow of water in and out of the inside of my kayak. Always self-baling, the water is constantly changing and flowing -- a river in the river.
I love the things Frances writes about our trips, a really important part of the experience now that I don't think either of us expected. I don't know why I felt compelled to begin journaling all our trips, except that I journal everything. It is fun to be able to go back and read about all our trips, and now nice to be able to share them with you.
I love the exploring, finding new places, seeing things we have never seen before. I love going and looking on the satellite map the places we have been.
That is definitely a big part of the experience. New sights. New places. New opportunities for wonder.
I love the fact that in the kayak I can only kayak. Nothing else. No computer. No PDA. No lists. Just the boat, the water, my family and the Lord. It is one of the most pleasurable thing I have ever learned to do.
That last sentence speaks, again, to my favorite thing about kayaking.
One point I didn't make in the original journal entry was that I love kayaking because we do it together. Sometimes we will find a peaceful spot and let our boats drift, resting together, hand in hand, enjoying the beauty of the Lord's creation around us. I love sharing one of my favorite activities with my favorite person.