The first paddle of the year on my favourite lake. What could be better than that? Almost nothing. The crispy cold water, the sparkling sun, the clear blue sky. It was a day of everything right. I was home again on the water.
But it wasn't to be a day of joy. There seems always to be a ying with a yang.
As I found light and happiness another found darkness. The son of close friends, a boy the same age as my son, ended his life. Why would he do such a thing? You never really know what moves in the heart of a person so distressed as to wish the end. There was no warning, no obvious reason, nothing but horror. So on coming home euphoric I am plunged into a world of grief and unanswerable questions. Why is life like this? What does it mean? How do we move on from here?
For me, at least, it is a time to try to heal the open wounds in my life. To look for those hurts and insults I have somehow caused in the lives of my friends and loved ones. To send out healing messages and for me to hope that my words cast some light that shines into the lives of those who I've given pain. Perhaps that will let them paddle in calmer seas and find the joy I felt during my first paddle of the year on home waters. What else can I possibly do?