As the weather starts to warm up and the days get longer, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting out on the water for the first time of the year. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a newbie, there’s something about being on the water that just feels right.
As you slip your preferred style of boat into the water and dip your paddle in, you feel both a rush of excitement mixed a tinge of nervousness. After all, it’s been months since you’ve been out on the water and you’re not quite sure how your body will respond to the physical demands of paddling.
But as you start to move through the water, you feel a sense of calm wash over you. The rhythmic sound of your paddle dipping in and out of the water, the feel of the water flowing past your boat, and the gentle swaying of the waves all combine to create a sense of tranquility that’s hard to find anywhere else.
For me this year the paddling season started with two canoe cruises one on the small lake that I’ve come to see as a refuge from the world and later the same day on the creek (say crick) where as a young boy, in an over-sized Sportspal, I learned to guide a craft with the current and then push myself against that same current.
In both places, you paddle further out, and you start to notice the sights and sounds of nature around you. The gentle lapping of the water against the shore, the rustling of leaves in the wind, and the call of the loons at the lake and the blackbirds on the creek serve as reminders of the beauty and simplicity of the natural world.
There’s something about being on the water that makes me feel connected to something greater than myself. A sense of being part of something bigger, the feeling of being a very small part of a very big universe. Whatever it is, it’s a feeling that’s hard for me to describe but impossible to forget.
In the end, getting out on the water for the first time of the year is always an experience. It’s a chance to reconnect with nature, stretch my body and mind a bit, and experience the joy and freedom that comes with being out on the water. So if you haven’t gotten out to paddle yet this year, what are you waiting for? The water is calling!