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Paddling for Pause

DSC_0113How often are you invited to do something spontaneous and you say no?  For the rest of the day do you wonder what it would have been like if you had said yes?

At times life is a 24/7 endeavor without time to pause.  With today’s technology and fast paced demand for instant response I checked my computer to prioritize my work day.   An email invitation from a friend of a friend to join in a kayak journey on the South River the following day was unexpected. There are 100 reasons not to go.  Too out of shape for such a paddle;  a client will be upset if no response at their precise moment of need.  Should do something with my husband as work hours are long.  My two cell phones for work ring simultaneously while the house phone shows my mother chiming in on the caller ID.  Suddenly type ‘would love to’ and hit ‘send.’  Technology overload needs to be unplugged.  Be spontaneous.  It’s the journey.  Stop feeling guilty.

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There is much anticipation on my part as my bright yellow kayak splashes into the not very user friendly entry to the South River. Shaking my arms out telling them they can do it. Bolstered by the other women in my company. Goal – conquer the less kayaked end of the South River and be at the tide change to cross the unknown entrance waters to the ‘spit’ prior to the rising of the full Bull Moon. How long would it be again before time, tide and the universe would align like this day. Good karma flows through and around me. At one moment I am a secret stealth spy, with my spy cohorts moving gracefully through the tall marsh grasses sneaking up on the unknowing birds and hopeful fisherman that wondered how we arrived without their seeing. At another moment I feel fortunate to have been asked to come on this journey. Feeling special to have been considered and included. Then in another moment I am taking deep breaths in and long sighs out, feeling my chest rise and fall, and my heart thumping. I close my eyes and am alone. I stop paddling and float. My mind is quiet. The soft breeze is kissing me. The caw of a black bird wakes me to see old Glory behind the perfectly perched raven. Proud to be an American. Sad for those who sacrificed and still sacrifice.

The remnants of the outgoing tide we are racing spills over the marshy, earthy smelling mud and the water droplets are a symphony with the lilies dancing along the river’s edge. Someone ahead yells ‘are we half way there yet’ and know again there are others with me. Forcing my achy arms to push harder to catch up. We move closer to civilization. Homes, marinas and people close the beginning chapter and introduce the next. The sky darkens as the sun sets. We celebrate our day as we pull the kayaks up onto the hard packed sunset soaked sand and wait. Growing up the moon was always ‘someone’ I talked to. Staring at her. Closing my eyes and asking for her strength to be transported into me. Fifty years later there is still that draw and this evening is like being with an old friend.

The rising of the Full Bull Moon was mystical. It’s light led us up the river to Damon’s point where we haul out. Paddling for pause on the South Shore is just one way to free your mind from the day to day. The North River and Scituate Harbor are also great paddling for pause locations as well as kayaking over by the Powder Point Bridge. What is your way to ‘pause’. How often do you say yes to spontaneity? How is your soul enriched by making time to be in the moment? Open your eyes and block your ears and nose, what do you see. Close your eyes and block your nose, what do you hear. Block your ears and close your eyes and what do you smell. Put the salt water to your lips and taste. Where do you find yourself ‘pausing’ on the south shore? Be spontaneous and invite a friend to share your secret place to pause tomorrow.