Paddle to the Cliffs

On the way out.

And, headed back in.

Yesterday, I was making dinner when Seth asked if I would drive him to the end of our road with Gabe’s kayak so he could go explore along the base of some cliffs across the water.  I was really hesitant, partially because I was busy, but also because Seth has never paddled a kayak before and I wasn’t comfortable with him going out alone.  I pulled my usual, and told him to go ask Jonny.  A little while later, Jonny came in from his office and told me that I ought to just take Keats’ kayak and go with Seth.  That thought hadn’t even crossed my mind, even though I’ve been saying for a long time now that I want to start kayaking.  It seems like a good way to work on upper body strength, which I am sorely lacking in, while being outside.  The problem outside of time and equipment is that I am not good at trying new things.  While I was too adventurous before I had children, over the years since becoming a mom it’s possible that I have become overly cautious.

Jonny assured me that I wouldn’t flip the kayak (I don’t think I’ve ever told you the story about going canoeing with Jonny’s friend Ed back in college…there was a lot of flipping the canoe involved!)  and before I could put too much thought into it (“It’s almost dinner time…I have too much to do…I’m scared“), I changed clothes, grabbed a hat and some water and said, “Okay!”  Seth was really excited for us to do this together, and that made me happy.

Once we set out, we only had an hour before Jonny would be returning to pick us up, so we didn’t waste time.  The water was almost perfectly calm, but I felt awfully wobbly as Seth and I paddled out into what seemed like the abyss.  Seth was completely confident and that helped me to be brave.  I experienced a perfect combination of fear and thrill.  One of the most profound aspects of this little adventure was realizing that I was being led by my child.  Every day I look at him and can’t believe that he’s nearly fifteen, only seven years younger than I was when he was born!

Despite being deeply tired, I’ve carried yesterday’s smiles with me all day long.  I know what I want for my birthday, though I don’t think I can wait until December!

From The Isle of Purbeck to Big Meadows

Small Things Big Meadows (23 of 44) Small Things Big Meadows (7 of 44) Small Things Big Meadows (1 of 2)Small Things Big Meadows (2 of 2)

Traditionally, we visit Big Meadows at the end of the day.  The kids play hide and seek in the tall grass and I watch the deer.  Afterward, we head to a picnic ground and cook hot dogs over a fire in the near or total darkness, and finally, drive home, getting in close to midnight and tucking dirty little ones right into bed.  I don’t know that I will have a completed mystery knit along shawl to photograph there every year, but this is the second June that I have.  Maybe a short lived tradition?  Last year it was Follow Your Arrow, and this year, Tales from the Isle of Purbeck.  This latest shawl is my favorite.  I can’t remember if I always say that, but this time I really mean it.  It almost makes me long for cold weather (but not quite.)