|The "calming", but restless waters of Skookumchuck Narrows.|
Camping in nearby Egmont and paddling mainly in Prince of Wales Reach, we would leave our kayaks safely strapped to the roof racks and hike out to Skookumchuck on the 4 km trail, to watch the restless water boil and swirl past us. It was exhilarating, stirring...and yet calming, all at the same time. I've been thinking about that recently - the calming influence of restlessness.
Children who are restless are frequently admonished to "calm down". When adults are restless, they are advised to "chill". Folks who are seen to be "restless souls" are told to "relax" or be more grateful for what they have and where they are in life.
I am, for the most part, a relatively calm individual. I've learned, over the years, that very little is gained from being agitated and angst-filled - except distress. That's bad stress. I also feel, however, a sense of restlessness, even a mild sense of urgency. And I don't think that's such a bad thing.
The restlessness I feel is not agitation. It's not thanklessness or ingratitude for what is - it's a yearning. It's a hunger to live life as fully as is possible - and not at some future time that may never come, but now. We all know, but sometimes forget, that life is short. For some, it is so tragically short. Life can, as they say, "turn on a dime" - and it often does. And yet all too often, we defer life. We postpone "living" until the kids are grown up, or until we get the "perfect" job, or until the mortgage is paid off, or until we're retired, or until whatever proverbial "ducks" we may choose are in a row. I have an overwhelming feeling that's a big mistake.
|About to "exercise" restlessness - the calm to come. (Degnen Bay, Gabriola)|
As we approach another time of potential vulnerability and fewer safety nets, of less certainty and greater risk, there is, at its very foundation, a tangible sense of restlessness. Strangely, it is calming.