Oh, I hear the crickets or cicadas or whatever they are called that normally give me comfort during long, hot summer nights, but this morning I don't seem to notice them much.
More than anything else, at pitch black darkness, I find myself acutely aware that I am alone. Along with intense concentration to maneuver around twists, turns and fallen logs in the dark, I become introspective. I feel oddly off kilter, somewhat off-balanced ... my husband isn't here. I take wrong turns. My heart beats quickly and jumps at the slightest sound. I tell myself I have nothing to fear but fear. I paddle on.
I went kayaking alone because I have something to prove to myself and because I was inspired by new found Twitter bud, Shawn Brown. After viewing his pics and reading his blog I realize I've been harboring a fear greater than others I currently cling to: I cannot swim, I am fatter than I'd like and am deathly afraid of water --- especially of big water. "I'd make some alligator a meaty meal," I say --- when I'm not joking. To keep me alive these 50+ years, I've clung to all kinds of "truths" --- such as big people make better fish bait. They have little to do with fact and everything to do with my own insecurities.
I discover: I'm "yellerbellied" doing some things alone.
You see, I have been married my entire adult life. I know what it is like to be independent of my husband --- but for the most part, I do everything with him. I don't consider it a weakness; it is just the way it is. That is, until I got the nerve to kayak alone in the dark, waiting for the sunrise.
On this weekend morning, I am a sole kayaker in a wide expanse of river wonder. I encounter male boaters, male fishermen, males sitting by the docks, men doing what I did --- taking the time to get out at sunrise to inhale the rituals of life.
Which leads me to another thought: a large majority of BeachnRiver kayaking guests have been single dads. For every 10 informational calls, one tenth come from women. Of those women, only ONE trip was taken by a gal and her girl friend --- and they were repeat kayakers.
Why is that? I wonder.
I'd love it if everyone who has read this, reads Shawn Brown's blog "Early Morning Kayaking Adventure" http://www.outdoorgulfcoast.
Who knows what fears you will forsake?