Posts tagged ‘canoe’

Canoe Trip

by: Rebecca Taylor

Tranquil river beckons me

Time for a ride in the cool waters

Breathtaking scenery around every bend

Paddling of oars gently splash water over my sides

Shadows cast upon the water from the stunning moonlight

Stars shine lighting the path to our campground for the night

Passengers guide me to the shore with joyous smiles

Payment for a happy day, so glad to be an adventurous canoe. 

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Busy busy busy

She told me she needed to do something. She said she was busy. She had “things to do.”

I never followed her. I didn’t need to. She (being my friend Rachel) went, she was busy and came back in a better mood. I didn’t really know her, either. I may have thought I knew her but, looking back, she was about as constant as the wind.

It all happened so fast. Everything changed.

I was avoiding class one day in high school, walking aimlessly down the halls, when I saw her chug a Mug root beer by her locker. It didn’t occur to me until we were talking after school on why that had been odd. She hated root beer. She was constantly telling us how she hated root beer. She also said she hated it when people bothered her when she was busy and that she was afraid of water.

How much of what she told us was true?

I was curious. The root beer incident was the day I wondered. So I followed her after school. Along the walk I silenced my mind and didn’t let myself think about what I was doing or why she went.

We came to the river that ran about a mile away from our little town. Rachel stopped in front of the river and smiled. I saw her take a deep breath and as she let it out the tension disappeared from her body.

So she did relax. Good to know.

And then she went a little ways back into the woods and started pulling a canoe closer to the river. It had been hidden in the underbrush and she pushed it out into the water and started to paddle away. I almost ran after her and asked if I could go with but I was too afraid to put myself out like that.

I never said anything to her about it but I let myself become a closer friend of hers. I let her in like I usually didn’t because I thought she was lonely. Independent with her canoeing, (and who knew what else) but lonely all the same.

One day, years later at a high school reunion, I asked her if she had really feared water and hated root beer like she always told us in high school.

She laughed, “Of course not. I just wanted to see who would figure it out.”

Rachel was lonely. She pretended she was busy but deep down she was simply lonely. I guess we all are, in some ways.

Listen for the Music

 

“Lisa. Lisa.”

My fellow co-worker’s call grated against my tired nerves. I quickened my pace as I raced towards the elevator. Maybe if I acted like I didn’t hear, then Calvin would give up.

“Lisa, it’s an emergency.”

I slowed. I turned. Calvin’s innocent boy-like face was turned innocently towards me. “Ha! I knew you could hear me.”

“What is it?” I said, eyebrows raised.

“I’m still confused about what you want me to do with my manuscript. I’m not sure that I agree with your comments about my main character.”

“Calvin, can’t this wait until Monday?”

“I just don’t get it,” he whined.

“We talked about this. I gave you suggestions.”

“But I tried to create her to be so real, so life-like, but you said she comes across as flat. She’s like a ‘talking stick.'” Calvin quoted my words.

“Yes. Yes, that’s because she is. Readers need to believe that she’s human. They need to see her emotion.”

“But how? I don’t know how to do that. Please, you’re my editor; you’re supposed to help me.”

I gave Calvin a gentle glare. The elevator beeped and the doors opened. Employees scrambled in. “Yes, and you’re a writer. You’re supposed to use my advice and write better characters, okay?” I gave him a small smile, a nod, turned on my heel. I made it into the elevator just in time.

The doors closed on the crowded silver elevator, and I blinked my eyes closed. It was Friday. My two-day vacation had started. I was going camping – hard core camping, none of that RV or pop-up camper nonsense. This weekend I would canoe around in the wilderness and think about everything other than work. That last part sounded pretty great.

It was pitch black when I fell asleep that night. Pitch black as in so dark I couldn’t see my hand if I held it in front of my face. I’d reached my destination earlier in the afternoon, and I was officially on vacation. My lips curled into a smile. I had driven up north several dozens of miles, planted my canoe in the water, and found a suitable campsite. I was too exhausted to even set up my tent fully. Instead I sprawled out, on top of my tent. I lay under the stars with the mosquitos and the wolves cooed me to sleep.

I woke with a start. I had overslept. I had missed something. I realized with great glee that indeed the only thing I’d missed was the sunrise. It must be in the late morning by now.

I dug for worms and then took my old pole into the canoe. Two hours later my stomach was rumbling, but a fish was frying over the fire pit.

I ate my fish down by the unmoving waters. I was still surprised at how silent it was up here. I always was. Compared to the boisterous downtown district that I lived and worked in, this place was a desolate void. Then I remember something my grandfather said, the first time he took me camping. I was nine. I had complained that it was too quiet, that the silence hurt my ears.

“Silent?” Grandpa had looked at me like he thought I was off in the noggin and dissolved into guttural chuckles. When he had regained his composure, he implored me with one question: “Listen.”

“For what?” I asked.

“For the music.” He grabbed my hand. “Close your eyes.”

The wind in the mile-high trees. The tiny, watery ripples lapping against the rocks. A loon calling from somewhere, its mate answering. A small splash from somewhere; a fish jumping. A rustle in the bushes. I peeked open an eye and saw a mouse scurry past my feet.

“Unlike the city’s noise, the music up here is beautiful,” Grandpa said with reverence. “Lisa, wherever you are, listen for the music.”

I inhaled quickly as a shooting pain ripped through my heart. It still hurt me to think of him. He’d died years ago. Suddenly. Heart attack. It shouldn’t have happened. I suppose that’s why I still came up here every year. Grandpa had engraved in my heart a love for the peace. I didn’t get much of that now. I needed to remind myself of the music.

I brushed those thoughts away now, looking at the serene scene before me. In a day and a half, I’d have to go back to real life. But it didn’t matter. During my meetings – arguments, really – with Calvin, while meeting with new writers,  I’d think of the music.

Picture Prompt – Canoe

Introducing: this week’s picture prompt!

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Here are a few questions to jump start your creativity: Where is this picture taken? Who owns the canoe? Why would a person go to  such a desolate looking place?

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