Canoe Trip

Our spirits sang on the water, and the water sang with us.


It was the water that identified our voices. On a hotter-than-usual August day, in the middle of a dryer-than-usual summer, it summoned us, including the self-conscious, the sanitary and the serious, to live from the very centers of our hearts.


We secretly hoped our canoes would capsize.


* * *


What is it about floating around in willow leaf-shaped boats on a river no more than a deeper and wider creek that’s so exhilarating and exciting? That day we were pictures in magazines, characters in a make-believe movie. We envied ourselves.


My friends laughed in a different key than I’d ever heard them laugh in before.


* * *


The water carried us. Our part was to steer, to stop and rest, to feel the drag of the current against our hands, ankles, calves. Four hours later, the water had taken us several miles, from a port on the northern bank to a designated point on a southern bank.


The water flowed, neither slow nor hurried, a trail of glory between two plateaus. It carried us through the drought. And with us it carried mysteries awaiting the revelation that comes with the song of our spirits.


The water was waiting for us to sing, and we found ourselves willing.



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