Why I Yak

It’s a way to slow down.

We have become a society where technology, pop culture and advertising have trained us to expect instant gratification. People can’t walk down the street without a cell phone glued to their ear. They can’t drive a block away from the house before succumbing to the need to call someone. Kids don’t talk face-to-face or look you in the eye because they are too busy text messaging. Waiting on regular mail is unheard of – fax, email, express mail, same day delivery, instant message. Now, now, now!

When I am in a kayak, I want to move only slightly faster than the current so I have a bit of control. I want to actually feel my torso rotating forward to plant the blade for the next stroke. I want to feel myself unwind and the paddle coax me forward then pause momentarily to enjoy feeling my kayak glide through the water. I want to move slowly enough to allow myself to really experience all that I am traveling through – the byways of wilderness rivers or the twists and turns of a creek that is inaccessible by road. I want to move quietly, so that I do not startle the wildlife.

I want to truly feel what is going on around me. I marvel at the first firefly at dusk, a lone bird skimming the water at sunrise, the small snake that makes several laps around me before moving on. Here, my bow parts the mist and opens the curtains of morning. There, a single blossom hangs from a long stem offering me a drop of dew. I sneak amongst the forests and marshes hearing the sounds of loons, owls and foxes like I have not heard them since I was a child. Frogs argue amongst themselves and trees sigh in a slight breeze. The sand hisses quietly as I beach for lunch and wonder what really made those tiny tracks at the shoreline. It is an amazing shift of perspective to sit only inches above the water. I find a whole-body contentment that brings me into the present moment to appreciate the watery unknown that waits ahead.

Rain starts… and I smile.


~ by Rick on June 4, 2008.

2 Responses to “Why I Yak”

  1. I agree on your post. These days we live a very unhealthy and unbalanced lifestyle, but when you do some outdoor activities, you actually appreciate them more.

  2. Agreed. Floating quitely along a shore or down a stream gives you a whole new perspective. Floating in the water after you’ve capsized does also! Thanks for sharing.

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