Sunday, November 13, 2011

Still waters run deep...

Joan, crossing back, towards the forested slopes of Maple Mountain.
Paddling back home, to our launch spot at Maple Bay, I am aware of the great and dark depths below. These are deep waters, in the Narrows between Vancouver Island and Saltspring Island. I have heard that some of the largest octopus in the world, glide silently below our narrow boats...and who knows what else. Jacques Cousteau said that this very location is one of the most beautiful places in the world for divers. I am too timid to venture into the unknown depths, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus strapped to my body. I am content to break the surface tension, and explore, time and time again, the mysterious and ancient shoreline. It is not usually as still as this. The water is like a mirror, reflecting every detail and texture of sky and land and paddler. The silence, broken only by the sound of the paddle dipping into and emerging from the water, is delicious.

The world is a noisy place. Voices compete to be heard, often without any apparent regard for one another.

As for me, I am drawn to those whose voices are not the strident "clanging gongs" that annoy and disturb peace of mind. I am more comfortable with those whose more gentle demeanour promises depth and engaging conversation. To me, "gentleness" is strength under control. There's no need for a lot of "noise". Those who paddle the rivers, lakes, and oceans or run or hike on forest trails, cannot help but be humbled by the extraordinary beauty of nature. It is this experience that often leaves us "speechless"...and it is then that we can be most open to a deep and abiding appreciation of the natural world. It is then that we become convinced to dedicate ourselves to doing all that we can to care for this fragile island planet.

Just think of how the world might change if our elected leaders and "captains of industry" would come paddling with us every now and again. They might just think more about the implications of their policies...and the consequences of their noisy speeches.

Just a thought.



  1. And a awesome thought it is. Thanks for this one really something to think about on my passenger seat on my way back to the city; gongs; and loudness of nothing. .many thanks Duncan.

  2. Wow what an awesome picture...I love the brilliant colours especially in the reflection on the water.
    Silence is wonderful but I'm not that great at to talk, and talk. You are so right though, out on the water, the beauty of it all just completely quietens us all....even us talkative ones. LOL

  3. Thanks Lee. Still thinking about your cave bivouac - must have been a great place for contemplating what's really important in life. I have to find such a place out here - and muster the fortitude to actually stay there overnight! D.

    I appreciate your comment, L. It's strange that sometimes we don't fully appreciate the beauty around us until we get home and spend time with the images that we've captured. We really do have to pause, more often, and take the time to take everything in. D.