A friend introduced me to kayaking about a year ago. I loved it and still do. I don’t get into all the crazy afraid for your life white water kayaking or anything. At the moment, I prefer the calm waters of one of our near by lakes, Sheridan lake.

The best time for me is to rise early in the morning and get to MY lake before anyone else has risen for the day and claimed their part of it. The sun is rising, the birds are singing and speaking to one another. There is a sense of peace and contentment that I find there. I know the birds are telling me their stories. I don’t know always what they are saying and I wish I was so attuned that I did. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know what words of wisdom they would impart? One thing I do know for sure is when the red-winged blackbird is scolding me for coming too close to their nesting or resting place among the cattail along the shoreline. They are quite insistent and there is no missing the concern and urgency in their berating. I of course, find it quite amusing.

On any given day the experiences are varied. I may see a mama duck and her babies as she protectively leads them to hiding in the cattail not knowing what kind of threat I might be. I might find turtles sunning themselves on exposed tree branches setting in the water. One of the most magnificent sites are of the blue herons that reside there. They come in all different sizes from small to quite large. I have a certain connection with them. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because of the prehistoric look that they have and somehow this fills me with hope and wonder of how these creatures have evolved and survived. They are a lesson of transformation and strength. I quite love the turkey buzzards as well. Yes, I guess on the outside they are quite ugly, however, they are amazing to watch how they fly. They just seem to glide effortlessly among the clouds.

When I have kayaked, I have either gone by myself or with a friend. I love both for different reasons. Having someone with you adds an element of conversation and sharing discovery of things and being alone provides me a time of solitude and making connections of what I find around me and time to speak with God and listen to what He has to say to me. My family never seemed particularly interested in kayaking until we spent some time at a friend’s house along the water and they had two kayaks. My girls got to take them out and enjoy some independence in doing it. I kayaked with my oldest daughter one afternoon and she expressed an interest in wanting to go with me to MY lake sometime. I was pleased by this as it is always fun to share something that one really enjoys with their children and even more fun if they find some joy and discovery with it as well.

However, this left me with a dilemma. When I went with my friend, she had a suburban and she transported both our kayaks. When I went with myself, my kayak was small enough that I could transport it inside my car. But if both my girls wanted to go kayaking with me this meant three kayaks to transport. Transporting them with supports on the luggage rack was not workable as this only allowed me to transport two and I had concern as being able to lift them easily to the top of the car and securing them. What was my next option? A trailer. I looked online and found a four kayak trailer. It seemed like a cool trailer, not a bad price (what do I really know?) and it said some assembly required. Or maybe I just thought it said some assembly required, wishful thinking. So I ordered it and waited quite excitedly for the trailer to arrive. When the Fed Ex truck arrived I was like a child at Christmas. The funny part is that as the delivery man started unloading boxes I wondered if there was ever going to be an end to them. His truck was half empty by the time he was done. He even commented to this effect. Five boxes later, I surveyed them in my garage wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into! I tentatively opened boxes and saw there was more than some assembly required, more like all assembly required! My children of course said “Don’t worry mom. We will help you.” I wondered where and when I had heard that before and from past experience knew that I couldn’t count on the chorused response to actually follow some action.

I let the thought of those five boxes setting in my garage to sink in for a few days and then told myself that this trailer wasn’t going to put itself together. I studied the instructions and complained about the lack of specifics in the pictures and the words. I thought and I processed. Got parts and pieces out and analyzed and then started one by one putting them together. Even though at times I may have felt overwhelmed and wondered what the heck I was thinking I still had confidence and faith that I could get it together. I didn’t have blocks of time to just keep working on it so I worked on it as time and schedules allowed. There were times that I would look at the instructions and be unsure as to what pieces I was really supposed to be putting together and how. It was like a puzzle. During those times I put everything aside and let the information process inside my head until something clicked and then I went back to work on it again. I did not let myself be discouraged and once or twice I had to take something apart and redo it the right way and even that was fine cause I could see the progress that I was making and it felt good. And surprise of all surprises there were times that my youngest daughter did come in to help. She would use the wrench to hold the nut while I tightened the screw. Her presence was fleeting at times. It was still nice to have and I thanked her for it and I hope she felt some sense of accomplishment when the trailer was finally completed. I think it took about a week, not straight working of course.

Later, when I looked at the finished trailer I thought to myself how cool is that! I did that! What a great sense of pride and accomplishment I had and I had also taken some lessons with me from it. Don’t let life’s boxes overwhelm you when they come to your door. If you open them up one at a time and analyze what’s inside and allow yourself to process it instead of reacting to it things go more smoothly. And if one gets stuck, rather than trying to force things and possibly make things worse, one should put it up on a shelf for a little while until the information that is needed comes. Then one can proceed forward in faith and confidence that the direction one is headed is the correct one. Funny how putting a trailer together could teach me so many things. I love the feeling of independence. I love the feeling of knowing that I can get through confusing and puzzling times. That even as I maneuver life’s hurts I am growing and becoming stronger and more self-assured. I am taking steps to do what makes me happy. I am taking steps to live my life passionately and abundantly. To do otherwise is to not live. I choose to live. I choose to live with a sense of accomplishment. To live with faith and courage that God is leading me and that I am listening. Where will you find your accomplishment today?

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