I set off on a solo kayak adventure yesterday to spend a few hours at my favorite paddling destination: a little point on Eagle Creek where I can sit immersed in nature undisturbed for hours on end. The amount of stress this kind of outing relieves is worth all the difficulty of finding space in the calendar. I truly come back changed.
Let me use a useful technic of 5-4-3-2-1 to describe my outing.
5 Things I SAW
1 A number of great blue herons. I’m always drawn to the blue herons. I think it’s their size (large), the unusual shapes they contort themselves into, and my quest to sneak up on them.
2 A raccoon walking along behind a blue heron and then investigating the area below which I was soon to be sitting. I was glad he didn’t join me (raccoons in the daytime are not a good thing).
3 A beautiful yellow swallowtail butterfly who swooped in to have a look at me and my gear in such a way as if to pronounce a blessing before traveling along.
4 An incredibly blue and comic-looking blue damselfly.
5 A pure white great egret flying around.
4 Things I Heard
1 The prehistoric call of the great blue herons. I don’t even know how to describe it except it sounds like it should come from a donkey or a cow.
2 The cicadas in their summer glory — this is a very comforting sound to me. I always feel cozy, safe, and happy when I hear it.
3 Cormorants fighting with each other
4 People talking loudly in their pleasure boats (slightly annoying)
3 Things I Felt
1 The hard hard ground. Even with two blankets the ground is hard to sit on for hours on end. What a wimp I am!
2 The cold reservoir water as I tied up my boat and stepped onto the point.
3 So very very relaxed in this immersion into nature.
2 Things I Smelled
1 The fishy smell of the water which ebbs and flows with the wind. It’s the fishy smell that comes with fresh lake water, not with salty ocean water. The two are very different.
2 The sweet scent of something like clover as I pulled back into the shaded cove where I disembarked.
1 Thing I Tasted
1 The cup of real tea I treated myself to while I was at the point.
This turned out to be a highlight of my summer. Taking the time to be fully immersed in my natural surroundings enabled me to store away emotional energy that I’ll need for the days and weeks ahead. It always seems like a gamble to invest time this way, but afterwards one remembers that it was never a gamble, it was always a wise investment with high dividends.