Monday, February 27, 2012

Launching...the "scratch for every itch".

Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.
- Ogden Nash

Moments before...a "launch".
There are few things in life I find more exciting than a "launch". It doesn't matter what kind of launch. Whether it's the first steps on the path at the trailhead, or boarding an airplane, or the moments before sliding the kayaks into the water and slipping into the cockpit, or the process of making a change in life - I get the same feeling. My heart rate and breathing slows down, the "butterflies" in the pit of the stomach gently churn, the sense of anticipation sharpens - as if an adventure is about to begin.

To be honest, I suppose I am one of those who is never quite "content". My mum used to tell me, with a sparkle in her eye, "You're just like your dad - you have 'itchy feet', you're never content to sit still!" It's true, I suppose. Our lives have been somewhat "nomadic" - in all kinds of ways. Over the past four decades, we've lived and worked (in civvies and in uniform) in five Provinces and overseas, and in two (almost three) languages. We have found those experiences fulfilling and sources of deep meaning. No house we have ever lived in has ever been our "castle". I don't have a pair of comfortable slippers or my very own cosy chair in the living room. We have very few "traditions" in our small household. With family spread over thousands of miles, there are no regular Sunday night dinners together. I will confess...I envy those for whom that tradition is possible. Maybe one day...

"Launching", or embarking on new directions every so often, it seems, can be for some, the "scratch for every itch". And it does bring with it a measure of happiness. That, at least, has been our experience.

I wonder...

...does that sound so strange?


Image: "Launching" the narrow boats at Degnen Bay, "Petroglyph Island" (Gabriola Island, BC) - heading out through the narrows to the Salish Sea.


  1. I think everyone has their own way of "launching" - for some it's on shore and for others there's a need for additional "time at sea". I don't think either way is "strange" at all. Good thoughts. Gen.

  2. I think "launching" is the opportunity to release yourself from the present time or circumstances and allow yourself to "refuel" the spirit so to speak. It's our nature to explore and expand our inner self and I think "launching" is what keeps us young at heart.


  3. Ha ha, you sound exactly like me! Life is always a quest for the next adventure....

  4. Right you are, Gen. Different strokes (and "launches") for different folks. Thanks for weighing in. D.

    I agree, Mark, it's easy enough to "get old". I think exploration and the process of "discovery" in life keeps folks young. In my vocational "world", we call it "living the questions". :) D.

    Yes, indeed, life IS such a quest, NK, and "Paddle Orkney '13" sounds like a mighty fine adventure! Lucky you to be there! Cheers. D.

  5. Life is an adventure and it is for one to take advantage of every opportunity and move on. I fully understand your sentiments and agree with them.

  6. Thanks for that, J. In terms of "experiencing" this wondrous planet, I always go back to Annie Dillard's quote at the top of the blog. The fact is, one doesn't even need to go far from home in most parts of the world - even a garden or some nearby natural and uninhabited place can be found to be exhilarating. D.