Friday, May 17, 2013

The curious draw of distant horizons...

Joan, and the distant horizon...obscure, but inviting.
Paddling silently along the shores of the southern Gulf Islands is always a treat - the unique geological formations, the flora and fauna, the marine life, the reflected waves, and the occasional bits of "treasure" wedged in amongst and behind the rocks provide a tantalizing "feast", both for the senses and the imagination. Having said that, we love also to look out to the distant horizon. There is the sense that you have left land behind and have embarked upon, what most certainly is anticipated to be, an epic adventure. Ahhh, the stuff of which dreams are made.

The distant horizon promises an ocean-based version of John Gillespie Magee's slipping "the surly bonds of earth". Canadian astronaut, and recent Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, knows all about that! The sea kayak's forward momentum shares many of the "flight" dynamics of an aircraft - the pitch, the yaw, and the roll - the angles of rotation in three dimensions that make for a thrilling, and sometimes, challenging "ride".

The ocean horizon beckons with a sense of "invitation" into the unknown - to places and spaces that promise to satiate the thirst for adventure that resides within. All of this, of course, is balanced by a small amount of trepidation, after all, the unknown is the unknown.

Perhaps that is why those who are devoted to these narrow craft are often dreamers. Those who paddle on the vast and mysterious ocean, albeit close to shore, yearn to make new discoveries - about themselves, about one another, and about the marvellous world we inhabit. They rather like the idea of an encounter with the unexpected and are curious to learn how they will respond to change and transition. They see a small "dash" of healthy anxiety as something akin to a pinch of salt - just the right ingredient to sharpen the experience at hand.

Perhaps most satisfying, however, the distant horizon implies a sense of self-sufficiency - you've prepared and provisioned for this journey and you must now trust in your abilities, experience, and careful judgement, having left the comfort and secure embrace of the shoreline behind. Here now begins a journey of self-discovery - and as humbling an experience as it can sometimes be, it offers meaning, value, and texture to each moment of our being.

The distant horizon can, therefore, be full to brimming with the varied "topography" of a promised adventure! Perhaps that is what draws most of all. As is the case with so much in life, our view is determined by our perspective - and our appetite for discovery and new experiences.

May such distant horizons beckon and intrigue us all.

As always, thank you for spending a few moments here.



  1. Truer words never spoken!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Lee. I know that those distant horizons and their promised adventures beckon you too. :) Duncan.

  3. Our perspective in life reflects so much in what we do and who we are. I am not one who is out on the water looking at new horizons but I do feel a sense of adventure and curiousity each time I venture down a new trail.

  4. I completely agree, L. Each turn in the trail reveals a new possibility. Sometimes you just want to keep on going! :) Thanks for stopping by. D.