Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Out in the Cold

The week before Thanksgiving and the beginning of Thanksgiving week were lovely for kayaking. The water was cold enough that I needed my boots, but long sleeved shirt and long pants were perfect—not melting hot, not chilly cold. Then the weather snapped from fall to winter.

I was out Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. My new, light weight wool base layer works great with my waterproofed wind pants and jacket. Paddling keeps me warm. No time now, though, for meditative drifting or picnics up an inlet. I go down to the lake, slide in my kayak and paddle briskly for an hour.

A flock of thirty or so seagulls has come for the winter, giving a strange sense of incongruity. Seagulls in fresh water, I feel like I should be smelling the salt and hearing the beat of the waves. At least a hundred cormorants are wintering. I’ve seen the ospreys, a pair, I think. Last week I saw two bald eagles soaring together.

Even in winter, there’s a lot going on. One day the lake was so still that I felt like I was paddling through the blue sky. Yesterday a mist turned the shore line and the trees into a delicate water color. The same lake, yet it’s always different from day to day. I paddle; I breathe deeply; I’m grateful to God for the loveliness of creation. Where have you seen loveliness lately?