September 05, 2007

Paddling

Paddling

Last weekend at camp, Blonde Niece pulled herself away from her summer homework to canoe with me into the bay and up the creek that winds its way through the marsh that was beginning to look like autumn. Already the edges of the green cattails were browning into gold. The lily pads crowded together, jammed out of the mud by the drop in water, the pads flapping at crazy angles. We paddled through thick beds of floating weeds, fighting a strong wind, and then pulled into the quiet creek. Geese flew overhead, calling to each other.

Although it had been cool in the deep shade of the oak trees, the air felt warm out under the sky. I pulled my sweatshirt off so that the sun could warm my forearms as I paddled. When the creek grew too shallow, and our paddles began sticking into the mud, we turned and let the wind push the canoe back. We talked lazily as we drifted. Blonde Niece begins eleventh grade this week, as do Shaggy Hair and Skater Boy.

She shifted in the boat to put both feet in the water. "It's a little sad," she said to me. "The last canoe ride of the summer." But I could tell, too, she was looking forward to the busy school days that would include seeing her friends every day. We sat quietly with our thoughts, soaking in the peaceful moment before paddling back to the dock where her parents were pulling their boat out of the water for the season.

10 comments:

YourFireAnt said...

Sitting quietly with your thoughts with a teenager. What a batch of contradictions, eh? A lovely moment. Probably one that not many people get to have.

Lucky you.

FA

timna said...

wonderful description of the moment.
almond joy started 11th grade this morning and wanted cuddling to start the day. and I had to tell her that it would be ok, a good year, and she was happy.

Rev Dr Mom said...

The Kid started 11th grade, too. It's a big year for them, isn't it?

Yankee T said...

I miss my nieces.

heidi said...

Your niece is beautiful!

Colleen said...

Blonde Niece should be wearing more anonymous shorts!!! :)

liz said...

Seriously, does EVERYBODY you know have gorgeous hair, or what?

jo(e) said...

Colleen: Yeah, I hate shorts with stuff written on the butt ANYHOW, but it's especially bad for pseudonymous blog photos.

DaniGirl said...

Looks a hell of a lot more peacefull than the canoe trip I blogged about this week!!

Seriously, the colours you capture make my heart soar sometimes...

Marie said...

I know just how she feels. Lovely post, as always, lovely picture, as always.