“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
– Horatio Spafford
It’s difficult to put into words the multiple feelings I experience when paddling. My canoe is one of my ‘sacred places’. Like being behind a camera, I am in the moment, and experience only this. Through this photo, I’m sharing a very small piece of the experience of being on the river.
I can sense the water flowing beneath me, feel the gentle breeze on my skin, and the sun warms me. The paddle propels me forward, yet connects me with the water with every stroke. I feel the gentle resistance, watch the water swirl around the wood, and hear the gurgle and drip of water behind me as the stroke completes. I see the woods, mirrored on the calm water, hear insects buzzing, and see the currents below the surface moving across the river’s bottom. It’s all movement, sound, and light, yet there is no turmoil.
Just looking at the photo draws me back to that moment, sitting still, drinking it all in and marvelling at the beauty I am blessed with in this land I call home.
The photo was made last weekend, while paddling the York River, near Bancroft. We made a seven and a half hour day of it, paddling upstream, against a gentle flow till we reached our destination and then let the river’s current carry us back to our starting point. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day, than on the water with friends and family, experiencing this beauty together and then sitting around a campfire, recounting our shared moments.
iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2
1/1000 sec; f/2.2; ISO 32