Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Setting a "way point"'s been a great adventure, and more to come!

"Way point" - an intermediate point on a route or line of travel.
Small scramble on Mt Tzouhalem - between a rock and a hard place can be cool!
I must say, writing this blog has been a very pleasant project over the past two and a half years. We both did sometimes wonder if it had become an "exercise in us" but always hoped that at least some of the reflections and accounts about time on the water or on the trail might touch the occasional reader in at least some way. After all, every time we launch our sea kayaks or head out for a run, there is the promise of new adventure and new lessons to be learned. Of course, being able to share an adventure with folks far and wide is the icing on the cake! :-)

Neither Joan nor I particularly excel, in any competitive sense, at either of these two activities but we've loved both running and sea kayaking for many, many years. We've found that the connection to the natural environment is life-giving and life-enriching. To not avail oneself, at least so far as one is able, of the nurturing quality of "wild places" is to miss out on something very, very important.

In the last posting, I pondered the necessity of being willing "to suspend doubt and disbelief". I could never have imagined, when I was sixteen and feeling a more-than-intense-dislike for "Mr. B's" weekly high school physical education classes, that well over three decades later we would finish a marathon. Nor could I have imagined, four decades later, that we would meet a guy called "Barefoot Ted" and discover the incredible freedom of running "barefoot" on the asphalt or along deep forest trails. Who'd have thought it, eh?

When my father and mother introduced us (shortly after we were married) to the sport of kayaking at our cottage on beautiful Papineau Lake, in Ontario's Madawaska Valley, neither one of us could ever have imagined the amazing paddling adventures that were to come. Suspending doubt and disbelief is the equivalent of "yes, we can".

It has been in the context of these self-propelled activities that we have enjoyed sharing some reflections in the past 154 posts at "OCEANPAX paddle / run". At the same time, we have enjoyed so many of the excellent, informative blogs that are out there. Often, we've thought how good it would be to meet "such and such" and do some paddling or running together. The avocation of "blogging" may be seen by some as lightweight and maybe a little self-serving but I believe it is a medium that is rich in the "shared experience". There's something very fundamental to our "humanness" there. It is in the telling of stories and the sharing of experiences that we so often connect to one another at a deep and meaningful level. Hard to see the downside of that!

As much as we've enjoyed all of this, it's now time to investigate some different venues for making these kinds of connections and sharing these experiences.

A favourite trail on Gabriola - leads somewhere new every time!
So, where to now? Who knows but in the meantime, there are lots more awesome trails to run on and secret beaches to discover along the sandstone shores of the Gulf Islands. Change is a good thing and, in the process of change, we discover exciting opportunities for fresh challenges and adventures. And heck, who knows, we may end up full circle one day so don't take us off your bookmarks!

For now, however, we are setting a small "way point". To those who have expressed their pleasure in this little blogging project in so many ways, thank you. You gave us motivation. To those whose regular comments and notes always energized us and affirmed the value in what we had shared - bless you. ("L", from Vancouver Island, you rock!)

There is, indeed, the promise of many more shared adventures to come!

Again, thank you all, wherever you are on this marvellous, island planet, for being part of this little "chapter" - it's meant a great deal. Bless you!

Duncan and Joan.

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