Paddling North: This is a Big Place

A friend wrote and asked how we are experiencing this place and I have many answers. It is big. Vast. Huge. Humbling. Humbling to travel through. It reflects how small and insignificant we are on a daily basis but also how deeply we can feel and interpret the land and waterscape we are paddling through.

Sky and water are frequently inseparable up here and I feel that is true of us and this place. We are, at once, both in and of this place. This space. Deeply aware of instant changes in wind, waves, temperatures, clouds…deeply taught lessons of decisions and consequences, paths and paddles. We are both safe and at the edge. Remote and close. Home and away. Here, and likely other places if I listen well and drop in to truly experience a place, dichotomies melt away leaving me awestruck and moved.

This is a big expedition. We are entering Phase Ten (I have to count it out on my fingers). Breaking into phases and micro goals and milestones makes the bigness manageable. We’ve passed the halfway mark and can both sense the end around several turns but know there is still so much water to paddle and wind to sit out. The dichotomy of wanting it never to end and the reality of the daily grind of paddling a marathon a day also brings thoughts of post expedition life. Of wanting to be both home and away and fortunately, it is possible and we will keep reminding ourselves to continue to drop the dichotomies and to seek the present moment-both here and every day. For the present moment is rich, vast, and humbling.

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