Been away from the blog for a couple of weeks - holidays means a little extra time for regular trail running, a good book or two, and some memorable kayaking adventures. Took the pic above a couple of days ago of Joan just off the north tip of Gabriola Island. The SE wind had been brisk over the long fetch stretching to Vancouver, the waves lively, but now everything was beginning to settle down and it seemed a safe bet to bring the camera back out. Mist across the water obscured the distant but familiar shoreline and mountains above Sechelt on the mainland and Texada Island. In my minds eye, I imagined us miles from shore and on the open sea - next stop Hawaii. Ha! In my dreams, eh? Hey, it was still exciting to think about the epic (abeit apocryphal) tales that could be told! Paddling on the ocean is good for thinking...and I thought a lot about, well, a lot of things.
Finished reading "Born to Run", the subject of the previous blog. Again, an amazing read! It is a beautifully written book that evokes a deep sense of humility as the reader encounters the real-life characters around which Christopher McDougall weaves his story of the greatest ultra-marathon "the world has never seen". There are lots of surprises too - the author's compelling case for trading in our running shoes in favour of running barefoot, arguably the way we really are meant to run. This is a book for those who are open to being convinced that we can be so much more and live more fully than we ever imagined. Even those who adamantly claim that they have absolutely no desire to ever run might just find themselves drawn to investigating the very activity that could well be a distinctive marker of our "humanness". There is a thread of gentleness, compassion, and courage that McDougall weaves throughout the pages and the personalities. It is a deeply touching, profoundly informative, and a wonderfully inspiring work.
So very often, a day of paddling offers an occasion to ponder and savour mindfully, not only the beauty of the natural world through which our narrow craft glides, but the gifts that others give - their written words, their spoken thoughts, their acts of kindness (you know who you are). This was such a day to reflect on the many ways that our connections to one another touch us and enrich us. To each and all, such as Christopher McDougall, who so abundantly share these things, a heartfelt thank you.