Recently, we visited a neighbouring island to check on a cabin. My husband loaded the inflatable with all our gear and I slid in the kayak.
|In the kayak before the waves built|
As the waves swept under me and my kayak rocked and splashed, my heart began to race. I ignored the voice in the back of my head telling me I was stupidly overconfident and dug my paddle into the foam at the top of each wave. Eventually I crossed the open water and made it into the relative shelter of the next island. By the time I worked my way up the island and glided into the calm bay, I was elated. I’d gone into an adrenaline-charged state that strengthened my arms and my will and left me with a rush of joy.
It reminded me of an outing last summer, when I climbed with family members to a high lookout and repeater station above Shuswap Lake in the interior of BC. The viewpoint was a small section carved out of the side of the mountain, and my stomach lurched as my son and his girlfriend inched closer to the precipice. But the view and the threat of a terrifying drop sent another rush of fire through my heart.
|On the precipice over Shuswap Lake|
Moving to Gabriola Island has made life easier in many ways. I no longer commute by ferry and float plane from Vancouver on weekends. I no longer fight bridge traffic on my way to work. I no longer engage in bureaucratic battles at work to fight for change. It’s been a time of doing what suits me, saying “No” to what doesn’t, and not worrying about making the easier choices. But this new life is not all about pulling the lever on the La-Z-Boy. I find myself needing to take a few risks, to get the blood and adrenaline flowing.
Without the daily aggravation of professional city life, I need to challenge myself in other ways. I’ve joined a theatre group and climbed, heart thumping, on stage.I’ve joined a walking group that pushes my endurance and reminds me that older doesn’t necessarily mean slower. As you know if you’ve read previous posts, I’ve begun cycling off-road trails that challenge my courage and my leg muscles.
|At Indigo on Robson|
|At the RPL launch of Baggage|
|Signing books at the Gabriola Library|
I’m not advocating jumping out of a plane without a parachute, but I know that I need to climb out of my comfort zone if I want to grow. It might be summertime and the living might be easy, but I can’t get too far back from the edge for too long.
So I open a new document and write the first words of a new book. And when the waves get bigger and my heart starts beating faster, then I know I’m alive.