Friday, July 17, 2009

High viscosity water...and low viscosity beans.

The evening was approaching and the sun, behind the overcast, was beginning its downward passage to the horizon. The wind, which had made for a lively paddle all afternoon, had called it a "day" and had retired to wherever the wind goes when it has finished its duties for the day - leaving an almost eerie "calm". The residual surface waves and deeper rolling waves provided a comforting "ride", not unlike that rock-and-glide chair on the porch overlooking the forest under a canopy of summer stars.

As many will have experienced, in these conditions, the ocean has a "silky" feel to it - there's a special viscosity that's hard to describe. The physicist speaks of viscosity as "an internal property of a fluid that offers resistance to flow". The water seemed to resist movement, granting only what was necessary for the marine environment to transition into the calm of the approaching evening. There was an economy of energy - time seemed to slow down and our paddling cadence became relaxed and our mood, contemplative.

Strange. I got to thinking about how much I enjoy a simple lunch of beans when I'm on the water - dark, fibre and protein-rich, molasses-and-brown sugar-infused beans. I like them with a "low" viscosity - runny and flowing - so sometimes I don't even heat them up - spoon 'em right out of the can. The more you heat them, the thicker they get - they don't slide smoothly down. With their higher viscosity, they, as the physicist says, resist flow and become rather unpleasantly "sticky" or as my very English mum would say, "claggy".

An odd thing to think about, beans...but, as night began to fall, and we set our course back to the beach, I quietly celebrated the fact that in the preceeding several hours, my mind had been refreshed and renewed. I had not been anxious or worried "about many things". I was thankful that I could, for just a few moments, ponder the nature of "low viscosity beans"...when the world and so many face so much. Tomorrow would be another day to give it our best.


Above image of Joan, a contemplative moment in her Solstice GTS.


  1. OK, I resisted an obvious comment, and for that, you owe me! Low viscosity beans, eh? Yeah, I like 'em too.

    John C

  2. John, I KNOW how hard that must have been for you to resist! Very disciplined of you! Decent of you too! Haha!


  3. Okay I shall resist temptation as well! We all need calm days in our lives to let us contemplate life in a relaxed easy flowing manner. It recharges us for rougher times.
    Confession: I too eat the beans before they are heated..

  4. Thanks for your comment, L. I totally agree with you, contemplative times on the water or on the trail (or anywhere for that matter) is "re-charging". We humans SHOULD understand that we are indeed "rechargable" - and then we should have enough good sense to make it happen more often! The thing is, re-charging doesn't happen very effectively in front of the computer or TV screen. It's sad that growing numbers of our youth (and adults) have lost the connection to nature - the VERY best source of renewable energy. And then wonder why they feel so energy-depleted. That's my humble opinion anyway. As always, thanks for dropping by.