Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Water Rose to Meet Our Boats

Without the camera, I have handcuffed myself to the thought that I can't create the verbal imagery which has been such an important part of creating this journal. Yet, with the company of good people and the buoyant force of the water, I have experienced in the past two weeks what I had so sorely missed having not been able to get up into the remote regions of the Canadian shield. A week ago this past Saturday, my son, Gabe, and I joined five other paddlers on the upper reaches of the Farmington; just below the source of the flow I have been paddling for the past two months. The water level was up with recent rains and the air was a mild fifty-plus degrees as we each settled into our boat of choice for a five hour cruise through class I / II sets, some quickwater, and some flat stretches. There were two OC-1's, a C-1, two touring canoes that were paddled, one that was poled, and a kayak. The variety of boats matched the variety of men and young boys who came together to enjoy this fabulous resource.

And then, if such bliss were not sufficient to transition into a winter of skis and skates, we gathered again in western Connecticut a week later to join with some new faces on a smaller, yet no less adventurous, pair of drainages. The Bantam rises just west of Litchfield and then joins flow with the Shepaug to create a challenging and busy run of class I and II's that kept us all pumping away with the single or double blades. In the end, new friendships were germinating and plans to gather for a rendevous in the spring were sketched with more detail.

The buoyant force of the water rising to meet the varied hulls that day served both as a very real element of our day together and as inspirational metaphor.

Enjoy the photography and film of our days on the river:


1 comment:

Art Sistare said...


On this 1st day of December, I was sorting through some long stored e-mails and again came across your river journal. I have perused it several times earlier in the Fall and today wanted to see how it was going now that Winter is upon us.

We enjoy the entries and the photos. (Did you get a new camera yet or is one on your list to Santa?)

I hadn't seen the ones from October (my favorite time of year) until today........In particular, I enjoyed the Columbus Day one about PETS and the later one about BRIDGES...."metaphors for many things."

People have pets for many reasons but, at least, I would like to think that most have them for friendship.

All people who have a pet for a friend are good people.

When we lose them, we memorialize them as we do with any human friend just like that person did on the tree by the river.

Your remembrance of Honey (and the Belle/tennis ball story) in your journal reminded me of a poem on a card. A girl who works with Sonya gave her the card when our Husky, Brodie, died. The girl had never met Brodie and I have never met her, but I bet she has a pet.

The poem has a bridge metaphor just as the ones do that you paddle under every time you are on the river.

Inspired by Norse Legend
By Steve and Diane Bodofsky

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

Thanks, Bill, for allowing us to enjoy your writings and photos and to think....We hope it continues!

Sonya says that you, Dad in his weekly messages and our brother Jon, who writes often from Iraq, are great writers.

Peace to you, Paula, Heidi and Gabe...Enjoy the Holidays!!

Love, Art, Sonya and Dennis....
and, of course, Lacey and Louie (who are still with us)