Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some family time on the water...and p-a-u-s-i-n-g to take it all in.

Leaving Maple Bay via Paddy's Milestone.
With "geography" always a bit of a challenge to many of us in this immense country, good quality "family time" (that is, getting everyone together in the same place at the same time), is hard to come by. Time together, on the the water, is even more rare. We got lucky this past little while - our son flew out to visit us on the Island for a few days. The weather was perfect, and we had the opportunity to spend time doing something we all enjoy - getting the narrow boats launched and padding over to our closest neighbouring Gulf Island...and, following that, visiting a few local vineyards.

Mom and son and lunch break in Burgoyne Bay, Saltspring Island
Like folks often do, we sometimes take for granted our surroundings. We forget about the natural beauty around us. We become accustomed to the views and take them in "stride" rather than pausing to take them in. When we lived in the Rockies, folks often remarked how fortunate we were to have such dramatic views of snow-capped mountains right out our windows - back, front, and sides. It would, at times, jolt me when I realized how blasé I had become! "View? Oh yeah, it's pretty nice here." Huh - what's that about? Walking down the street, instead of focusing on the extraordinary beauty, I would find myself nattering about how the flood of summer visitors were causing long line-ups at the post office.  When we were posted to Germany, we lived on the edge of the Black Forest, just a short drive from both France and Switzerland. Even there, I remember forgetting how marvellous an opportunity it was and getting annoyed at what I perceived to be the interminable waits at the traffic lights in Lahr. - talk about a bad attitude! :)

Father and son, chillin'...savouring the moment, weather coming in.
Looking back over the five weeks we spent working in Scotland in June and early July - the time has already compressed and in some ways, it's hard to believe we were there! I keep a journal, however, and I know we were there and I know we appreciated every moment, every person, and every new experience. Sometimes we get blasé about places, and opportunities, and even people. When that happens, our experience and appreciation for life is greatly diminished. It's as if we're not even here - because when we take any component of life for granted, we're essentially not here.

It was a great time on the water with our son. Cruisin' the vineyards was fun too. We treasured every moment. That will make those moments last a very long time - and that's a good thing.

Bottom line: Live the present moment fully and with deep appreciation, it ain't here to stay...and you don't want to miss it.



  1. Hi Duncan. I know what you mean about the occasional (and necessary) "jolts" back to reality - it's so easy to miss the precious moments while we allow distractions to take over! Happy paddling. Gen.

  2. Thanks for that, Gen. The "up"side to these wake up calls is that they are usually therapeutic! D.

  3. How true your "Bottom Line" is. We get so wrapped up in life, we forget to live and appreciate. It looked really nice out there on the water. Glad Jeff was able to enjoy it with you both.

  4. You're so right, J, we do get "wrapped up" and then it can start to squeeze. Healthy activities always reduce the pressure...and helps us, as you say, "live and appreciate"! :) D.

  5. A good message that we all need to remember. Living in the moment is hard to do but so necessary to fully live life.I wish I could be more mindful and present with each day.

  6. Ah, welcome back, L! Yes, "being present" is a work in progress, for most of us. :)