A Paddle

I stopped kayaking there for awhile. Even though I have my own boat, on my own little berth at the lake, I must have associated paddling with that bile I felt early in the summer, and I’ve stayed away, even on beautiful days, even when I could have spared the time. This week, the kayaking trip leader invited me to use my credit–from a rained-out bird-watching paddle workshop I was supposed to go to in May–for the August full moon paddle. That’s how I got back in the paddle again.

Ends up that this month’s full moon fell on her birthday. To celebrate her 66th, the kayak leader loaded up 15 boats and welcomed women she’s paddled with through the years. She led us out on the lake, where we heard the music of a flute and an African drum ringing through the air as the sun went down. We paddled ahead to find two musicians perched on a rock on the side of the lake. We hung out there, then paddled away to the next inlet, with the music still ringing through the air.

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That was her birthday celebration. She hired the musicians. In the inlet, we gathered our kayaks together and passed around a Tupperware of cupcakes. Every so often she would paddle ahead of the group. She was widowed about the same time I was. I respected the space she gave herself but was sure to connect every so often, as did everyone else. She is adored.

Daughter made it out with us this time. Here was my daughter, with all these Wise Womyn, and there we were, gliding on the water–when it gets dark and you look at the other paddlers, you can only see their lights moving on the water. You can’t even make out the shape of the boat. You just see lights, gliding–with the flute, the drum, the moon….eating cupcakes.

I don’t want to make more of it than it was (but it was lovely, so very lovely).  I will note that when I unloaded Daughter’s kayak and paddle and lifejacket, I left my own lifejacket and paddle in the car. After all, I can just swing by that berth any ole’ time. It’d be good to have a paddle at the ready. Just in case.

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[Kayak leader is the on the right. Daughter is gliding in the path of the moonlight. The moon, of course, was much bigger.]

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