After a long winter, it is finally June and I have the bug, the kayaking bug. I have it bad too, just itching to be on the water, feeling the pull of the paddle, the muscles in my back and arms coming alive and welcoming the work. Greeting the birds and wildlife after a long break and taking in the views, the beautiful sights to be seen. I would be yearning for the wind in my hair as well, that is, if I had any.
Fortunately, the opportunities are close by and plentiful and the weather has been conducive for frequent forays into the channels and waterways that make the Dundas area so special.
The first couple of ventures out have been really great. The local waterways off Olympic Drive are in great condition, vegetation quickly returning after its winter slumber and the native residents are very active. I have seen lots of deer along the banks, swans and ducks aplenty and quite a number of turtles already.
The highlight for me has got to be the spotting of a fisher, not once but twice and in two very different locations. This larger cousin of the mink is fascinating to see as it quickly navigates the shoreline and the second one I spotted seemed equally curious to see me. We spent a few minutes checking each other out before he nonchalantly went on about his business.
I have not seen any of these in prior years so to spot two in two weeks was a thrill for me. I am hoping for a few more repeats over the next couple of months.
It is in those quiet moments, that I catch a glimmer, a faint shadow of understanding of what Henry David Thoreau meant by:
“I cannot come nearer to God and Heaven
Than I live to Walden even.
I am its stony shore,
And the breeze that passes o'er;
In the hollow of my hand
Are its water and its sand,
And its deepest resort
Lies high in my thought.”
Peaceful, mind-clearing and invigorating, I look forward to every opportunity to be out there and always return to shore feeling somehow cleansed, a mental re-set so to speak.
It doesn’t take long though for the pangs to return, and I know that I’m in need for another fix, another return to the water. Fortunately, the summer has just begun and with it, plenty of opportunity.
See you on the water!!