|A Valley Etain 17.5, traversing the loch.|
We had been invited to share in several days of paddling on the west coast, with Ian, Douglas, and Mike. The stormy weather was finally settling and there was a "window" of opportunity. Our hearts leapt at the thought. I began immediately thinking about how to rearrange the schedule to make some days on the water possible. We were ready for this adventure. It was doable, it would happen...until I thought about the drive through the mountains to get there.
Our ageing, but (mostly) faithful Ford Focus, had recently experienced some mechanical "hiccups". Additionally, it only has summer tires - a difficult confession for someone who has spent most of his life in Canada. There was a good chance that road conditions could be a bit "iffy", with some possible hard-packed snow and ice, at the higher elevations. I was, admittedly, nervous about the thought of driving from coast to coast, with less than ideal equipment.
I began to see this unique opportunity, to spend time with three adventurous and highly experienced paddlers, evaporate before my eyes. The bitter taste of a small "lemon" seeped into my consciousness. It didn't feel very good...and needed to be rinsed aside...quickly.
|A Scorpio LV, heading for the hills.|
On the other hand, along with an attitude of thankfulness, the desire to make the best of life's circumstances is a key ingredient to happiness, and peace of mind. We all hurt, sometimes, and often it is our negative and defeatist response to a given reality that perpetuates the cycle of pain. Optimism and hopefulness, however, help us to transcend the pot-holes and speed bumps...and the nasty-winter-driving-conditions-without-snow-tires scenarios, that we all encounter.
Lemons need to be transformed into "lemonade". It just requires an open mind, an open heart...and a healthy blend of optimism and gratitude. Life is, after all, what we make it - after circumstances have had their "go". It might as well be a glass that's half full, as half empty.
So, we couldn't just sit and "stew" about our inability to get to the west coast. There would be other opportunities.
We loaded the kayaks on the roof of our "moderate terrain kayak transport vehicle" and headed for a closer venue, where the roads would accommodate the summer tires...Perthshire's, Loch Tay.
|A great day on the water...in the snow-covered Highlands.|
Seeking to make the best of any given situation in life is always transformational, and almost always guarantees a treasure of an experience. Nature rewarded this effort with some of the sweetest sea kayaking "lemonade". And we savoured it.
Lemons to lemonade!