Here’s how it all goes down:
You show up in one of the nicest little pockets of the whole world, just as the sun is dropping way down low in the sky, and you pick out a kayak.
When you climb in, and the nice river guides push you out into the water, the sun has dropped a little lower, and the light is all gold and shimmery.
You settle in, and the world suddenly makes a whole lot of sense from this vantage point.
You turn and peek over your shoulder, and the May super moon has climbed up over the treetops. It doesn’t look like much yet. But it’s pretty.
You paddle west, and try to pick out where your airstream trailer will go once you chuck your day job, move to the river bank to become a writer, sit under the awning and sing honky tonk songs while drinking umbrella drinks, and watch the kayakers go by. Maybe up on top of this little bluff?
Or in a clearing, but tucked into a little grove of trees.
The sky gets darker, and the moon gets brighter, and the clouds get pinker.
You float. You paddle some. You drift a bit. You listen to the water dripping off your paddle, and you take deep breaths, and you watch the sun set.
At one point you are attacked by a bug, but it turns out to be the lanyard holding the glowstick which makes you look like a little purple firefly to all the paddlers behind you. At another point you are chased a little bit by a beaver, and it turns out to be for real, because there are beavers all over this river. Seriously. They whack their tails on the water, and it sounds like somebody splunking big rocks into the water near your boat. Beavers are a little bit in-your-face that way. It’s kind of badass.
It gets darker.
As you drift under trees, and past floating logs, and back around river islands, and paddle towards home, the night creatures kick up this incredible racket. It is loud beyond all reason. It is beautiful. You are confused by the steady thumping rhythm underneath the cacophony of the frogs, until you realize that someone is blasting Leonard Skynard way off in the distance, and it’s crazy how sound carries on the water.
You realize that you haven’t spoken in the last couple of hours, and you haven’t needed to; your only job has been to paddle west for a while, and then navigate around a tiny island, and then paddle back east. You started the evening a little wrung out, but as you get close to the dock, you feel like you’ve had eight hours of sleep. Is it the full moon? Or is it the river? Or is it how it feels to be on a boat, in control of your own little craft for a while? Is it because there is pirate blood in your veins, that moons and rivers and captaining your vessel make you feel this way? Or is it just because people fairly universally like moonlight and water and boats, and it’s not a pirate thing at all?
Doesn’t really matter, because this is the hardest thing you’ve had to think about since you left shore three hours ago. The moonlight and river and boat have done their work, and it is good and dark now,
and everything is just as it should be.