Saturday, June 18, 2011

beyond the bow. . .Trip 42 -- June 16, 2011

This was our first sunrise trip of the year.  I had forgotten just why we enjoy yanking ourselves out of bed before 5am. 

We put in at PoleCat Bay with determination to actually find the Tensaw River this time.  The water was fairly quiet as we paddled in a north-easterly direction.  It didn't take long for me to be reminded of what is so magical about the early morning trips.

I could just begin to see a ribbon of bright pink along the edges of the clouds and I knew soon the sun would be peaking out above the horizon.  I paddled faster to be past the bayway so I would have an unobstructed view.  As seems to be the case each and every sunrise, I was not disappointed.  At several points I just sat still in my kayak and considered how very great our God must be to create something so very beautiful.  I have no words to describe the beauty, the grandeur of that sun coming up in the east.  My camera didn't do it justice either.  With each snap of the shutter, I would look at the display and be so disappointed that what I saw on the screen was so lacking in life, vibrancy and color compared to what was transpiring before my eyes.  It is the very thing that makes this not-a-morning-girl put her feet on the floor well before daylight.

To put a figurative mound of icing on an already delicious cupcake, the sun was rising exactly over the mouth of the Tensaw River.  It was as if the Lord was saying, "I've given you a good show, now let me use this gorgeous sun to point you in the right direction."

We had an easy paddle up the river.  So easy, in fact, that we went much further than either of us had planned.  I remember that little voice in the back of my head trying to remind me, "You'll have to travel all this way back, too," but I didn't want to listen.  We stopped and had a snack of bread, cheese, olives and grapes and then headed back.  By this time, even though it wasn't even eight o'clock, it was becoming quite warm.  The good news was, we were facing the wind and the breeze felt good.  The bad news was, we were facing the wind. 

We actually seemed to  make good time for the first  couple miles down the river.  Then it seemed like our progress slowed significantly.  But we only thought it slowed.  Once we reached the mouth of the river, where PoleCat Bay meets Mobile Bay, the wind had whipped the water -- and the waves -- up significantly.  We paddled, but we didn't move.  I pulled, I pushed, I grunted, my boat moved over a wave and then was pushed right back again with the current.  Glen had the same experience.  (I don't know if he was grunting or not, the wind was whistling so loudly in my ears, it was all I could hear.)

We decided to change tactics. We changed direction and found we were finally making progress.  It was a good thing too, because my arms and shoulders had given just about all they had.  I had to force myself to lift the paddle as we headed close to the put in, even though the water was much calmer on that side of the bayway.

Apart from the surprising fight with the waves at the end, it was a wonderful trip.  The sun pointing out the way to our destination was such a great example of a deeper lesson.  If we keep our focus on the Son, He will direct our paths, He will show us the way to go.

Never does there seem to be a trip when the Lord does not seem to be revealing Himself in some way and showing us more and more of His truths.

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