Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BELIZE: Rough waters

I'd been sea kayaking once ten years before (on Lopez Island as a pre-wedding outing with Deanna) and loved it, so we dedicated one day to renting kayaks and paddling around the peninsula and across the strait to the caye. We hadn't really done much exercise and I was looking forward to the mindless rhythm of paddling--sort of like that same mindless rhythm of running that clears your mind and leaves you feeling exhausted and refreshed.
Besides, kayaking in a double kayak was a beautiful metaphor for marriage. Two people, working together toward one common goal, overcoming rough waters to make it to sandy beaches...yada yada yada. I could write a Hallmark card about it. What a great way to celebrate ten years of marriage.
Except it almost ended our marriage.
About two minutes into our trip, Joe was vexed by my "mindless paddling", which was making it difficult for him to steer. Our paddles kept knocking into each other. He started giving me pointers on how to paddle, which I found uber-annoying, given that I had kayaked twice as much as him (exactly one time ten years ago, remember?).
About halfway through the trip, Joe was proclaiming he never wanted to kayak with me again and I was ready to knock him out of the kayak and let him swim back to shore. It was not pretty.
Meanwhile, the Gemmers were happily paddling out that beautiful marriage metaphor.
Fortunately, ten years of marriage have taught us that fights always end and we will weather the proverbial storm. Plus, we were on the opposite side of the caye and either had to make up and paddle together or drift out to sea. We took notice of the Gemmers' technique and changed our own.
The rest of our trip was fabulous. The water was so clear I didn't even have to put on my snorkel mask to see sea stars and coral. We saw a few small fish as well. My arms were so pleasantly exhausted it was hard to pull myself onto the dock when we got back to the house. Joe and I made lunch while we waited for the Gemmers to join us.
After lunch, we all got back into the kayaks and went back to the mainland to return them. As a peace offering, Joe bought me some gelato.
We may go kayaking again...give it ten years or so.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I've found that the best strategy is to just let Tyler paddle and I pretend to be too busy taking pictures ;)