Ok, my second try at posting pictures. Another River day in the kayak, this time on January 15, 2015. Though it is sunny, it’s the middle of Winter here and the air is quite nippy! There was ice bordering the shallower ponds with little current. This, again, is a quieter little side channel to the main River – making it easier to keep up to the current and still handle the camera. Looks can be deceiving with water: I flipped over here in the Autumn of 2014. That was a cold experience! By the way, that is not snow on those rocks. It’s their natural coloration. This area is known by rock hounds for its beautiful stones polished and washed down from the Fraser Canyon by the River.
You don’t see the kayak here, but it’s important to remember that kayaking involves long hours of repetitive, rhythmic motion, and you can make those motions into suitable repetitions of life-affirming mantras. One of those I like to use while paddling goes like this, and each word is a stroke, left, then right, then left… “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control” then repeat.
This list of “virtues” found in the Christian New Testament is freely available to anyone looking for something truly good to help focus and change one’s life for the better. The key is listening. Sure, we can pray, repeat mantras, chant, say all kinds of things: we can talk and we can hear… but most of the time we’re not listening. Remember the song by Simon and Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence”? “People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening, people writing songs that no one ever share…”
One of the great curses of the age is that it produces so much noise and so many words that turn into a cacophony of meaninglessness, or worse, give utterance to uncertainty and fear. A day in the kayak on the River brings it all back into focus – though it is not the only way, just a way that I chose for myself.