Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 12

We came up with this idea to film something called, The 2011 Okee Dokee Olympics. The events include Rockput (shot-put), River-Stick Throw (javelin), and the Paddle Spin & Sprint (gymnastics). During the filming, Joe’s sunglasses came off in the murky shallows of the mighty Mississippi. Lost.

Even though finding them again seemed hopeless, we all got in the water and began probing the spot where Joe fell. The water was about 4 feet deep and extremely muddy. After 15 minutes, we were all ready to give up. Suddenly Joe lifted his foot out of the water and pulled his sunglasses from between his toes. Amazing save!

Later that same day, we were in a lock waiting to be let through. Joe pulled his hat off to wipe his brow, forgetting that his sunglasses were sitting on top! PLUNK! Gone again. I guess the river really wanted those sunglasses.

Life and Death
After Joe lost his sunglasses in the lock, we noticed a small, injured bird floundering in the water. It must have struck the wall of the lock and fallen in. We hoisted it out the water with one of our paddles and placed it to rest on the front of the canoe. It lay there, barely breathing.

We continued down the river with the bird on our bow always keeping hope that it would soon get up and fly away. We were all very sad when it never did. After landing on shore, we had a small ceremony for the bird and continued on our way.

We didn’t have much desire to paddle after that. It was difficult to make good distance while pondering the bird we left behind. But whether we paddled or not, the river’s current moved us along and the flow was kinda soothing.

We have been witness to so much life on this trip. It is easy to forget that there is also death. Even though it was the death of a bird we hardly knew, life suddenly seemed like a delicate thing, as swift and light as a feather. Death kinda seemed heavy.

Time flows in a continuous current much like a river. It keeps us moving along when we are too sad to paddle. It also helps to soothe our wounds as we float along.

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