Kayaking the Waterways
Since time eternal, nature has inspired a sense of awe. Every natural event has had some special meaning to native cultures and has been carefully honored. Life education for the natives has depended on knowledge of the elements. This has remained true throughout our human history until the advent of the mechanical age and since then this knowledge has diminished. Yet wisdom gleaned from nature is endless.
One of my favorite ways to explore and contemplate nature is kayaking on the many lakes and waterways near Nature’s Home Preserve, my home in these mountains. The quiet of a still mountain lake brings a sense of peace known only in these clear waters. A kayak paddle makes only a slight swish as it dips in and out, moving the kayak swiftly and smoothly through nature’s plenty. The unimaginable diversity of living creatures and growing plants on the earth astonishes me. When I step out on land and bend down close to the ground to study just a tiny spot, millions of bits of life lie before me. I turn to the sky and see brilliantly plumed birds, butterflies and inserts taking care of their business on a clear spring day. In my “Sibley’s Guide to Birds” book there are 537 pages of birds just in our North American continent. In Newcombs’ “Wildflower Guide” 463 pages of wildflower variations just barely covers the Northeastern part of North America. It would take thousands of pages to show most of North American wildflowers and a lot of those flowers grow here in the Appalachian Mountains.
This spring I’ll be making time for kayaking adventures exploring more of just my little part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Around the streams and lakes flowering trees cover the mountainsides with every shade of color and the air with a sweet fragrance to be envied by perfume makers. Purple Violets, pink & burgundy Trillium, snowy white Hobblebush, magenta Spring Beauty and bright green “fiddleheads” of ferns carpet the ground. No wonder these mountains are home to so many artists and writers; we all attempt to describe the beauty with words and paint.
Nature teaches patience. Everything worthwhile takes time to develop and grow to it’s full potential. Nature’s cycles of growth and regeneration give us stability and reliability in a world speeding ahead recklessly. Our work at Nature’s Home Preserve seems to move with the cycles of natural change and evolution. Like the Native American cave paintings which feature horses, birds, buffalo and other symbols of an ancient life-style which honored nature, we’ll take care to remember our natural heritage.
Living in the woods keeps me aware of the timeless wisdom that permeates the forests. I’ll patiently live here, explore it’s waterways and learn how to capture some of it’s revitalizing harmony.
See Photoblog: http://yurtstudio.com/myblog/blog4.php for my art piece, "A Shared Moment" on the waterways.
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Thanks Thomas! I’ll write some more kayaking articles when the weather warms up and my hubby and I can go into the water again!