Monday, October 23, 2006

Canoeing - A Life-Affirming Journey!

We had a wonderful time this weekend - laughing harder than I had in a LONG time! What were we doing? We went canoeing, my husband and I and two small children, along with my sister and her husband and two nephews. Normally canoeing doesn't lend itself to episodes of hilarity - but this one did! We found ourselves on a 7 mile run, called Rock Springs Run, part of the Wekiwa State Park. Normally a very placid endeavor, except on Saturday, we had to portage our canoes over 5 fallen trees and barely skim over the surface of hundreds of tree limbs along the way. A normal 3 hour canoe run stretched into 6 hours. As my brother-in-law stated, it was more like bumper cars than canoeing. We had many episodes of balancing on fallen logs, straddling branches, ducking under debris, avoiding a cotton mouth snake (yes, they are very poisonous), brushing against the remains of a dead wild animal, as well as viewing a wide variety of birds, turtles, butterflies, fish and a deer. What was so funny? Besides propelling a nephew into the river while trying to help push a canoe across a downed tree and watching that same nephew rebound out of the water faster than the speed of sound at the mention of "here comes the cotton mouth" and enjoying our children swimming in the crystal clear waters collecting mussel shells and other items and creating a family memory for all of us which will long outlive ourselves....the joy came from the life affirming ability to do what we never thought we could. It was wonderful to have the physical ability and agility to perform the task and fully enjoy the moment without concern over being able to finish, safely and easily. That's part of why I do what I do and eat they way I eat. I love knowing that at almost a half-a-century old (and a husband who is half-a-century old) I am stronger and healthier than I've ever been. It's what keeps me getting up in the morning every day to exercise and keeps me in the kitchen preparing wonderful healthy foods which build-up my body! Life's too short to not to be able to live it fully! (My only regret is that we didn't have a video of the adventure - and if I were the proprietors of the fine canoeing outpost, I would go mount remote video cameras at each of the portage sites - the extra money that could be made from America's Funniest Videos might help them keep their canoes from leaking so much!)

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