The nose of my friend, Kayak.
We went on a kayak/canoe trip yesterday. The river has lots of water in it, the air warm, and one of my very best friends is this kayak! You guessed it; I love it! Inanimate and all that, it is orange and red and yellow, long and not too sleek, holds quite a few buckets for Huckleberries in the back, and only tips over if I am not paying attention to detail.
This is Wayne's. It sits low in the water and has a rudder for stability (imagine!). I do not think that he has ever tipped over in this boat. We all remember the river trip when he and his little yellow rented kayak hit a nasty rock and ripped a hole in the bottom. From a short distance away he looked like a long, tall stringbean of a man, gliding down the river in a very thin slice of yellow plastic.
Skyler and Gina drove (paddled, I am sure) their borrowed aluminum canoe. Gina stunning in a bright yellow skirt, Skyler dapper in his little straw hat. Unfortunately, I left my camera home. Well, I cannot trust myself, or the Rushing River to not get it soaking wet, so I had to memorize the trip! They launched first, and headed downriver. I was next, and the last I saw, Wayne was climbing into Santa Cruze. As I negotiated the first little rapids, I came around the corner to see Gina on the bank wringing out her skirt, Skyler's hat askew, and a few belongings bouncing along in the current. Unfortunately I missed the event, so they were spared my sometimes untimely laughter (sorry guys!). It has been said to me that it is not half as funny when I ditch, which I know to be true (sorry again).
We traveled down river at a pace set by the current. Off and on there were rapids that took all of our attention to negotiate successfully. Gina and Skyler figured out their canoe and became quite good at going through the rapids. We came upon one which was created by a wrecked canoe caught between the boulders creating a dam. The water poured through a chute between boulders. There was no way out of the river at this point, the banks being impassable and the current swift. The front end of my kayak was airborne (no, never the end where I sit), and I went flying through, Wayne coaching and encouraging me. I was able to turn around and wait for the kids in the canoe, and oh, that was where I really missed my camera! They came barreling through, heading straight for the brush, were able to get out without tipping; which goes to show that they had it down. I will remember Gina's eyes, right there where she realized what was going on, for a long time.
The trip took us about 3 1/2 hours, 4+ counting the time to trespass in a vineyard and load up the gear and get out before we were discovered. By road it would be about 12+ miles, and take about 15 minutes. River time is slower, takes one into the wilds, into a physical, magical world. Turtles plop from logs into the water. Songbirds of great variety sing every imaginable melody, bank swallows dart, tree swallows sing and fly and skydance. Osprey swoop and screee! Canada geese fly low. Mallards, Merganzers wait until the last moment to burst out of the water, and into the air. Bugs hover. Cotton from the cottonwood and willow floats on breeze and water. We talk and laugh and paddle, often just paddle in cacophonous Nature.
Our Memorial Day Weekend was sweet, filled with work in the yard and garden. Filled with dear people, good food; I/we am/are so blessed. My grandson called me and left 2 messages (he really doesn't like to get the message machine), inviting me over for a tea party, "I really want you to come."he says real low, and serious. When I was a kid, dad used to take us to the graveyards to clean up the family plots. We played in the brush of the over-grown graves, pretending there were ghosts everywhere and finding names familiar and fascinating, with dates beyond our reality. I remember one, Laura.... 1789-1856. At the time, I do not remember it being a military holiday, it was a time for a huge picnic with many extended family members in attendance and much reminiscing of those who had "passed on." Later, after we'd moved to Ferndale, I marched in the Memorial Day Parade in the FUHS Band. We then went up to the Cemetery (which, a couple of years later, was the best place to park and drink out of sight of Porky, the town cop) for the ceremonies which included veterans. Now, the holiday seems to be all about military, "honoring those who serve." Of course, let us honor those who serve, by getting the hell out of war.
My garden is growing. Everything is so happy to be in a sunny day, soaking up all that Vit D and photosynthesis. These purple potatoes are about waist high and just starting to bloom. I really am distressed by the goings-on in the wide wide world. I want it to be better. I hate that any mother on the planet has an empty room in her house, a bed into which her son or daughter will never, ever crawl. I hate that any father has to "keep a stiff upper lip" while grieving the loss of his precious child, his soldier. I do not know why this just does not stop. Now. I really do not want to have any more holidays given over to mourning the unconscionable loss of beloveds.
I hope to choose Love in the face of every day, to be of service, in service. Each day that I am upright is a gift, one to be opened softly, gently, with anticipation for love, redemption, and great tenderness,
...for nothing but a great clamor of joy
Can make any sense
I do love you.