I awake at my normal five AM and settled with a cup of coffee to read the news on my tablet. I am reading the Times, of course, but also The Guardian and The Economist. Nothing is good that I read. Just more about the little boy in the white house down the street and his fears and sycophants.
The tide is rising in Lucy Creek, and I ready my kayak with tap water and an orange, and launch two hours before high tide. I am quickly across Lucy Creek, and meander into my favorite little cut through the salt marsh, paddling slowly toward the Morgan River. There is a great blue heron, then one of the last of the loons, then a cormorant who dives and surfaces far ahead. The sun is up and warm, and I strip off my pfd and put it behind my seat. The housing development next door, noticeable because each house has a big dock sticking out into Lucy Creek, is noisy as workers are out repairing the docks, knocked asunder by Hurricane Matthew. Most are now back to their full ugliness, and I note that in this “residential community,” this PUD, there is only one dock that hasn’t been repaired. The shared community dock sits in ruins. Of course I think of how some reward private investment and personal gain over community and its inclusiveness…a journey back to fear and loathing. Breathe.
I do my paddling meditation, focused on breath. The docks and the sounds of Skil saws fade away, as I turn back east and the sun is on my shoulders like a comforting arm, and I see the eagle’s nest that I’ve been watching for sixteen years; the adults rearing another offspring.
I want this little creek to persist in its beauty and comfort in a time that the latest politicians are about to open the floodgates of development. People will move here to destroy what they think they cherish. As I speak water and sewer pipes snake out from Beaufort; a harbinger of more intensive development. I can handle this as I have before, turning my time toward writing, conservation, education and mindfulness, yet I worry about the kids and the grand kids. Is retreating into mindfulness making the world better, or am I just swimming away from badly needed confrontation?
I paddle home.