Wednesday, March 18, 2015
When another day's storm trumps today's paddle...a time to simply be.
We learn something new every day, whether it's on the water, in the hills, or in the 900-year-old Norman Romanesque "office" of my parish church.
The plan was to launch at Auchmithie, a favourite location in Angus, from which to paddle along the sandstone cliffs of the North Sea.
The forecast conditions appeared to promise a reasonably benign day on the water. We've paddled here half a dozen times and read the conditions correctly. The following were forecast by Windfinder for today.
Weather: 8 balmy degrees, in haze
Wind: Negligible, 1Bft (with gusts to max 2Bft)
Did we miss something? The waves were certainly rolling in! The result of another day's storm? They seemed much more, ah, "enthusiastic" than the forecast would have suggested. (All interpretations most welcome!)
They've been rolling in against the old, ruined harbour for many years.
There's not a lot left now.
Auchmithie is a lovely wee village, and the home of the original Arbroath Smokie, the smoked haddock treat that is known around the world.
It's easy to spend a lot of time on this rocky beach contemplating the power and beauty of the natural world, gaining clarity of thought in the fresh salt air, or just allowing the mind to soar gently to unexplored places and spaces.
It becomes an "agenda-less" opportunity to think and ponder and reflect on just one thing at a time, a process equivalent to free climbing or free falling - it's quite simply be-ing.
There are marvellous, multi-coloured, multi-textured pebbles to examine, tiny pieces of sea glass to discover, evidence of geological processes that simply boggle the mind.
For a time, we completely forgot why we had come to this very special place.
The launch was not to be...but we were.
On this day, the boats stayed on the Moderate Terrain Kayak Transport Vehicle. We collected sea glass, soaked up a warm March sun, listened to the swash and backwash of the waves on the pebbles, and watched sea birds rise and fall on the swell that we had planned to paddle.
It was fine.
The time had been well spent.
The precious moments we set aside to be, are often what strengthen us for all that life calls us to do. We forget that every now and again.
Another day's storm trumped today's paddle. But it offered a day to simply be.
Tomorrow, however, may be a day to simply paddle. :)