Thursday, 30 August 2012

a flame, rekindled

Solitude along the rocky shore

Kayaking buddies
(With Jeanne)
I got my first taste of kayaking a long time ago, something like 20 years ago. I had a good friend who was an avid kayaker; so avid, he worked and lived in a kayak shop and ended up owning three kayaks. I remember the first time he offered to let me use one of his kayaks off Willows Beach. I fell in love with kayaking then and there, and I assure you, it wasn’t just because I had fallen under my friend’s charms.

I enjoy approaching shore quietly, observing flora and fauna up close, and simply feeling in touch with my surroundings in a particularly intimate way. I have no idea why it has taken me this long to yearn for my own kayak. I kayaked a little here and there over the years; and now that I’m in the Sea of Cortez, I have fallen in love with it all over again.

Trisha, another kayaking junkie
Kayaking has also become a time of connection with other women. A couple of my friends out here have kayaks – we sometimes meet early in the day to explore our surroundings together. The morning air lends itself to tranquil conversations while quietly paddling along the shore.

And so begins my search for the perfect (used) kayak. We have a blow-up “bathtub toy” version of a kayak right now. And yes, it’s better than nothing. Recently, that kayak was renamed Malibu Barbie Kayak. When Trisha first saw it inflated from afar, she thought it was hot pink. I pointedly stated that it must have been the light; my kayak was faded red, not hot pink. Still, in spite of looking like it belongs to Barbie, it floats and points more or less where I want it to and it’s a stand-in until I can find a better one.

The infamous Malibu Barbie Kayak 
I can still recall that first time. It was an early summer evening, the sky was beginning to change colour; I could hear voices from the beach fading away as I paddled out. Curious birds came near, only to playfully fly past me; the cool water was within reach of my fingertips. I soon became far removed from the stresses I had left ashore.

Jeanne, leading the way
Little did I know I would be in the Sea of Cortez two decades later, with different birds flying around me, a very different landscape enveloping me, relishing that same feeling all over again.




2 comments:

  1. "Better than nothing..."
    "...until I can find a better one."
    Oh, that hurts. Oh, how brutal is your characterization of our beloved former kayak we thought we'd sold into a good home. Now I feel like we need to arrange a kayak rescue, to find a more loving home. We should have done a better job vetting her new home. The poor thing probably has a complex about her pinkness and about her soft, round sides. She likely knows how unloved she is, how different she is from the sleek, hard-sided craft your girlfriends sit in. Breaks my heart.

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