The very first thing I did the first time I came to Maine was go on a five-day sea kayaking trip. I went on another a year later and took kayaks out for shorter adventures during my two years in college on the coast. I bought a used ("tupperware") boat many long years ago, but only had it out on the ocean once or twice before I had kids and my kayak became a dust- and spider-collecter. I've gone out sea kayaking maybe twice since we had kids (one of those trips is chronicled here). And I didn't know how much I missed paddling, that salty film on my skin, even lugging heavy boats over mudflats.
Then I had the great good fortune to have been invited to teach a nature journaling workshop for Northstar Adventures and I spent last Saturday paddling with a small group of people in beautiful Penobscot Bay, from Castine Harbor to a pair of islands in Brooksville.
There we explored the shore, did a variety of writing and drawing exercises, and ate a delicious lunch (some of our group even took a swim in the cold water).
It was a pretty divine day and I was so happy to be back out on salt water (and wondering why the hell we live in Maine but inland). With each workshop, freelance gig, and piece of writing sold, I feel one tiny step closer to my career goals (which I once articulated as, "Go canoeing and write about it.") Yet, as we speak, I'm sending out resumes, because the demands of three teenage kids (all of whom have stomachs, feet, and teeth, three expensive body parts), a house whose appliances and fixtures are all exactly 16 years old and therefore all meeting their demise at once, and two 20+-year-old cars mean that the necessity for "real job" is becoming unavoidable. Which means that going canoeing and writing about it will once again become a weekend/evening/lunchbreak/interstitial pursuit. I won't say I'm not sad about that.
But in the meantime, if you want to join me for a THREE DAY!!! nature journaling workshop, I'll be teaching at Little Lyford Lodge in the Greenville area for the Appalachian Mountain Club. See here for details.