Canoe Musings

Our summer has been uniquely defined by canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. The kids have learned to manage them, we’ve seen beautiful things from them, they are a new and special part of how we experience a place. And I am falling in love with the rhythms of the canoe. Canoes meander. They take wide turns. To change the direction of a canoe, it requires three big paddles on one side, if not more. And even then, it’s a wide turn. You can’t just yank a wheel or rein or do anything on an axis. You just have to accept the slow, meandering turn. Sure, you can do a quicker, sharper turn by using your oar like the arm of a handheld mixer, but then you lose momentum. Either way, nothing is happening fast. You have to give your effort some time and some space. Even when going straight, you are actually zig zagging. Paddle right, paddle right, oar over the canoe with some peaceful, regular water drips, paddle left, paddle left, swap. On and on.

All while herons and ospreys find their dinner all around you.

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