Thursday, November 04, 2010

Taste of Heaven

Hot tea in the morning chill, a sliver of moon peeking through the cloud bank, dawn's crack... a taste of heaven.

Life can easily become too full of activity, commitments, and loose ends.  For Crystal and I, the antidote is to escape to nature - away from bustling sounds, bright lights, computers, phones, and lists.  So last weekend, after a week of dealing with post-wedding clean-up (our daughter, Lumin married a wonderful man from Wyoming), we stole away for a night to be bathed in the soothing balm of natural night sounds and light and beauty.  We have spent about a year adding bells and whistles to our new-ish jonboat to make it work for ... well, just about anything.  There is a large platform deck for photographing, napping, picnicking, even pitching a tent for camping.  And beneath is ample dry storage for keeping the relatively small boat tidy of all the gear needed to camp.  On the port gunwale, I designed a removable kayak rack so we can explore the smallest side creeks and skinniest shallows.  There's a swim platform on back, anchor wells, a dry, secure space in the console for a quick- reach camera.  And lots of smaller details.  (Thanks, Jeremy, for your skillful welding, and John, for your inspiration!)

But back to getting away from all this thinking and working.  We launched at Ochlockonee River State Park - a gem of a park at the junctions of the Ochlockonee, Sopchoppy, and Dead Rivers.  These rivers snake in and out of each other like a serpentine maze.  We idled slowly through the waterways to a remote  curve of the Sopchoppy and dropped anchor an hour before sunset.

That's guacamole thawing on the console - with crackers, wine, cheese, and tomato soup = dinner at sunset.

Peace.  No human-activity sounds. Calm.  I could feel my body's energy slow down, take a deep sigh, and synchronize with this place.  Ahhh!

A long night's sleep - one tends to go to bed early when there are no artificial lights to postpone the night.  The night was punctuated by circling moon and stars, splashing fish, and froggy sounds from the marsh.  A Good Night.  We were up to experience the awakening next-day.

 Sunlight wakens the day and birds begin to call.

Yoga on the tent deck.  Salute to the Sun doesn't need to be symbolic out here.

The magic red light fills the marsh briefly before the sun rises into the cloudy sky and the light goes flat.

The Sopchoppy River carves through marsh and palms, mirroring the cloudfront.

Spirits renewed, we return to port.