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Canoeing Goodness

Posted by Sooz on Sunday, May 8, 2011 | 2 Comments

It is important in life to know what is good for you, and then to do it. For me, there is nothing that rests my heart quite like water. I love to swim in it, drink it, watch it, and especially canoe in it.

Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by taking a trip to the northeast. We ended our journey in Maine – our favorite place to vacation. On this trip we rented a pretty little yellow house, which was surrounded on three sides by water. The reason I was drawn to this house, besides the water, was that it offered its renters a canoe to enjoy during their stay. It was October and the weather was already quite chilly, but I was not going to let that keep me from canoeing. The first morning there, we launched the canoe in the quiet tidal waters that surrounded the house. The experience was magical.

With paddle in hand, I set out to explore. There is something otherworldly to me about being in a canoe. You see things from a totally different perspective. Looking up into the woods that surrounded the house, I could see all kinds of beauty. The huge roots of trees were within reach as they plunged deep into the cove. Brilliant fall leaves danced beside me on the surface of the water.  Birds flew overhead and landed with such grace and precision that I was certain no ballet could match their display of style and showmanship. But the greatest gift to me was the stillness. As you gently glide along in the water, there is a quiet that is beauty itself. It is the song of stillness – a prayer of peacefulness that accompanies you on your way. It is so good to be in harmony with the stillness.

Canoeing requires a certain “centered calm” from the boater, that is, if you want to stay upright and dry. This required posture is one of the best benefits of canoeing, for it forces you to find a place that we often abandon in this turbulent and unpredictable world. You must find your center and be calm to manage yourself well in the water. If you do this, the rewards are amazing. You can access a world unlike anything we experience on land. You can coast under low hanging limbs, enter unseen worlds, and catch a glimpse of wildlife and wonders that will only stay visible in this quite calm. It is spectacular.

I wonder what “wonders” I miss on a daily basis because I abandon this posture for the business of our culture’s frantic pace? I wonder what the world would be like if we had to canoe our way through life instead of barreling head over feet through it? What benefits might we enjoy and what rewards might we reap? Let me ask you…do you canoe?

“ Goodness glides along to the soulful song of stillness.”

Do you take time for stillness?

A “Good” Idea :

Think about ways you can practice purposeful stillness in your day. Do you have something that works for you already? Please share it with us so that we can all benefit!

2 Responses

  1. bill says:

    what a good piece of advice. The business of life- taking care of friends, family, home,work, shopping, travel, etc., are part of the fulfillment – and sometimes the curse of our lives. Without some quietness it is difficult to absorb the fulfillment.
    Write yourself a note to save some time each day. Put that note in plane sight so you will be reminded TO DO IT. Twenty minutes of absolute quietness each day may be enough. Do not let it be a secret. If your family knows how important it is to you perhaps they will try to stay out of your way during that twenty minutes. Who knows, it might be an example for those close to you to you to do the same.

    • Sooz says:

      I agree! Bill – I especially like the “do not let it be a secret” suggestion. That is the only way to secure time at my house with kids and chaos. I think if I think of it as “setting an example” then I will do a better job of it. Thanks for your thoughts!!!

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