Liquid Savasana

23 08 2019

This morning dawned with a late August softness, a sky drawn with stretched clouds and a stillness that beckoned me from my intended plans. My regular Friday chores could wait I decided, as I put my paddleboard on my car rack and drove down to the Bay.

There, the water greeted me, still as glass, its molten pewter tones marrying the reflection of the blues and greys of the skies above. In silence, I launched, the only sounds the drips from the paddle as I drew myself along the shoreline. I was in no hurry, indulging in the sweetness of no agenda. I chose to head north, along the cliffs of Queens Bay, where kayaks and gazebos and canoes are tucked into ledges beneath the homes that stand watch far above.

I paddled along the edge of the rocks, seeing glimpses of fish hugging the drop-off. Giant boulders lay beneath the surface, tumbled from the face of the cliffs eons ago, precariously balanced on edges. The water fades from crisp clarity to a greenish blur until there is nothing but darkness. Sometimes it fades with jumbles of rocks, sometimes it’s a sheer face of an immersed cliff. The morning sun was perfectly aligned for seeing the magic beneath me. It’s always a wonder, a slightly unnerving one, when you realize how deep this lake really is. When you can go from five feet to over 200 feet deep in one single stroke of the paddle.

The ferry wake reached me at one point, the waves were gentle rollers, hitting me broadside and challenging my balance. I admit I might have whispered “Weeeeee” as I rolled with them. They pushed up against the cliffs, rippling and creating a moirĂ© effect of the sky’s reflection, a fleeting Impressionist painting of jagged rocks and gnarled trees clinging to the rocks above me.

A kayaker greeted me in silence, we merely smiled and nodded without marring the quiet with unnecessary sound. As I returned, and rounded the corner, a brace of Mergansers rose from their underwater group feeding, their crests flashing brilliant ochre in the morning light. They looked surprised to see me, a few of them giving me a side-eye to make sure I was no threat to them. They quacked, murmuring mollification to one another. I stood still on my board to give them the space they needed and watched them until they dove under again.

I indulged in laying on my board in the middle of the Bay for a few minutes, my hands on either side of me, cupping water and pouring it through my fingers, a liquid savasana.

I think I could have stayed there forever, in that peace. In that quiet. In that embrace of a late August morning. This will see me through until next year, I believe, those moments of pure stillness, draped over me like a silk sheet. I have tucked it away into my heart, to revel in at any time when I need to.





You know, it really it is the little things

5 07 2018

I woke up this morning with the anticipated July sun finally beaming in through the windows, and after my coffee and shower, I egged on my dog Jed to get him all riled up for his morning walkies. Well, could you blame me? He was laying outside my door, completely splooted (google it) out with his front paws crossed in anticipation, his brow furrowed as if in consternation about whether or not he’d get to go romp before breakfast. Hint: he always does.

He was delighted as always, performing cutesy spins and giving his high fives as I asked him if he “wants to go for a walk”. We headed out into the early morning, the air gently warm and the crows announcing our journey with raucous caws.

Sometimes we run. Sometimes we walk. There are times when I intersperse lunges and jump squats to make sure my arse doesn’t sag too much. But whatever I do, Jed comes with me. Tail high, prancing with pride. Isn’t it sweet to give your dog what he loves the most?

We did a quick route this morning as unbeknownst to him, he was heading up the mountain with the birthday girl and her dad for a day of ATVs, fishing and hiking. As we rounded the corner home, I stopped to pick a few sweet peas for a birthday bouquet and happened to look up as I began to head home. There in the sky, hung like a mobile over a baby’s crib was a giant Blue Heron. She (he?) was straight as an arrow, neck folded in, legs extended. The moment stopped as I just stood there to watch this creature soar over me. Beyond the twitter of chickadees and zzzz zzzz zzzz of the hummingbirds and the sweet songs of the swallows, this giant of flight was silent. I stood. I watched. And after this bird passed over me, I finally breathed deeply and regained my venture home when I noticed two bald eagles soaring together. My breath stopped again. The two birds circled around together, hanging briefly in the updrafts of the air below. Not a wing was flapped. They were close enough so that I could see the white feathers of their heads and the rich brown of their bodies. Jed stood patiently by as I stood still again, trying with all my might to absorb the beauty, the peace and the simplicity of this moment. After a few second they dispersed, perhaps spying a fish or two rising in the waters below.

I know it may have looked silly, but I clasped my hands in a prayer pose in front of my heart and breathed a word of thanks. To who or what, I’m not even sure. But the gifts given to me, simple and sweet, were too good to not be grateful for.