Saturday, September 06, 2014

The pleasure of stepping into an old, familiar "river"...for the very first time.

The warm breeze across Maple Bay felt wonderful. Being back in the cockpit of "Spartan", my Canadian sea kayak who has waited so patiently, was an absolute thrill. For the past six months, Scotland has been home. We will return there, but for now, for these precious weeks, we will soak up this very special part of Canada that has been "Base Camp 1" for some twelve years.

It's an interesting experience, coming "home", for a visit. The eyes see everything from a new perspective.

In many ways, they see, for the very first time. As the ancient philosopher, Heraclitis, said, "You cannot step into the same river twice" - and I always find that the new "river" is just as refreshing, albeit in very different ways.

I had forgotten how magnificent this part of our country's pure outdoors. Vancouver Island is a land of ocean and sea, mountains, rainforest, and deep, fertile valleys.

I am happiest on the water, in my narrow boat. It's there that the mind is freed and allowed to rediscover its quiet centre. In this place, there is a connection to the water, the air, the sandstone shores, the verdant forests...and to the depth of one's own spirit.

Whether it's here on the vast Pacific waters, or the imagination-inspiring North Sea 7000 kilometres away, an inland Scottish loch surrounded by heather-clad mountains, or a glistening lake in Canadian "cottage country", the experience is always the same.

It is a time, a place, and a context...simply to be.

When we launched from the beach at Maple Bay, there was a brisk and refreshing breeze. Three hours later, the narrows were calm and as reflective as a mirror.

I think it's all about change...the most refreshing, healing, invigorating, perspective-enhancing, proof...that one is alive, and still growing. It does a body, mind, and spirit good. It is essential to richness and texture in life.

It's great to be back in this old, familiar "river"...for the very first time.


  1. Hi D & J, hope the journey went well - good to see that you're straight back out and "being". I think you've identified a real truth there; coming home one always sees things with fresh persoective and appreciation - the familiar renewed.

    Kind wishes

    1. Thanks so much for that, Ian. Long journey but time on the water compresses that nicely. Out again today and enjoying Gordon's "balance" exercises. :) We'll be in touch again soon. Warm wishes. Duncan.

  2. I agree with that change Duncan. There is nothing more inspiring that paddling even back on places we havent been for a while. Welcome back to Canada!

    1. Hi Lee, I appreciate your words. "Change" is the very essence of life, and what makes for abundant adventures. You've had some great ones! Warm wishes. Duncan.

  3. It's always great to have new adventures in familiar territories. Thank you for taking me on a similar adventure yesterday!

    1. And you were awesome, L! :) Happy to have you on the water with us anytime. Warm wishes, Duncan.