I got into kayaking during the pandemic.
I’d been once before, on Elbow Lake in Minnesota, at the LoonSong writer’s retreat.
But as the first pandemic summer approached, I decided kayaking would be a good way to be outdoors and socially distant. So I went online to buy one. I was apparently not alone. After hours of searching I found what seemed to be the only kayak left for purchase in the world. So I bought it. I paddled about in area lakes and ponds. Sometimes I went alone. Sometimes with my sisters. Even with my mother in the year before she died.
There is something about the water, about floating above that unseen world below the water’s surface, about the unexpected appearance of a raptor swooping down or a heron standing silently at the water’s edge. It is where stories come from, I think. The unknown and unseen. The unexpected. The silence.
As kayaking season approached this year, I was recovering from an injured back. I feared kayaking would become another loss in a year full of loss. How could I lift my boat into the car, onto the shore and back again? How could I paddle out to the middle of the lake and sit in the heart of story?
It seems there are options! I am now the proud owner of a lightweight inflatable kayak. I have yet to test it on the water, but I have high hopes. It’s supposed to be hot next week. I intend to get out on the water and pull up stories from the depths.