As the tires leave the pavement my van dips and gives into the gravel and I swing through the open gates. There’s something about the sound of gritting stones and dirt underneath me that fuels the adventure leaping within my heart. A couple of pickups are parked way across the lot with empty boat trailers. We’ve beat everyone here on this peaceful, beautiful Saturday except for the fishin’ folks.
Bleep, bleep! My phone lights up and quickly glancing down I can see it’s you. “I’m here!” But you see me already as you turn around beside your little grey VW, your red kayak squatted on top. I forget you’re so tall with the relaxed shrug of your stance, but you stand above both. The way you step with your reflective shades and blonde carefree hair exudes an ease and happy contentment.
Oh brother, you’re the only one that brings me back to the magic of my childhood.
We get our kayaks down and our gear out and figure out where we’re going to launch out. It’s going to be an absolute perfect morning. Not too hot, there’s hardly any wind, and not another soul for as far as we can see. It takes me a few extra minutes to get my thoughts together. I’m just so stoked and it’s also the first time taking this baby out on a river with the intention of being gone for a while.
Snacks? Check. Phone and keys in the waterproof bag? Check. Vest, sunglasses and my coffee? Triple check. We only have a slight dilemma/laugh at the poor dead opossum right there by the shore. EEEK! I hit it with my kayak! Gag! Just don’t look at it!
Aaaand…. we’re off!!
I’m reminded of how pretty spectacular it was growing up with you. We made adventures out of so many things. I remember the way the fences ran on either side of our yard. The old dark split rail fencing on the left, I remember finding acorns in the dirt by it on a day that was windy and looking up and watching the gray clouds roll by. The chain link fence on the right by Steve and Linda’s started by their garden. I remember picking and eating green beans out of it with Erik. Or maybe it was pea pods. I remember running around with the ‘bow and arrow’ we made out of sticks and rubber bands.
It seemed back then that along with the turmoil we couldn’t explain or understand, there seemed to be a magic that kept us, covered us, and carried us. We certainly remember a few things and once in a while I ponder what else is locked away in the spaces of my memory. Either way I resolve that God gifted us quite an extraordinary thing by giving us each other. Through our adventures I believed that a great many things in life were possible, that with each glorious, brazen sunset over those waters I knew there was a greater level of love and fullness that I could and should expect out of life. I remember a few of those moments with extreme clarity and marvel at the very young age I was. There’s no Holy Spirit junior and God sought me out and has pursued me since I can remember.
Brother, you give me permission to dream and explore with excitement and expectation. I can’t explain the way it feels to be on an adventure with you. You’re the only one that can bring me back to the way it feels to be a carefree kid again like that. You’ve been my friend since the very beginning and I’m so deeply grateful that you continue to choose to be.
The throwback classics of Boyz II Men play on your speaker amidst the slaps of our oars into the water. We coast up the river and pass a fisherman trolling and eventually find a spot to turn around and eat our snacks. Rosemary bread and cheese. Apples and oranges. Talking with you is quite easy and it’s hardly at all that we completely finish a conversation before jumping into another story or thought. It’s hard to not think of Erik. In the past he’d be working or living a couple more hours north…
Even tonight as I write this I catch myself so lost in thought it’s taken me an hour to write these last bits in between the daydreaming and memories. I’m still trying to put some of those thoughts into words. Not the time for some of those yet. But Saturday… Saturday was pretty incredible. It’s another moment I’m going to treasure for the rest of my life.
I’m game to do it again asap. Thank you babe.
I love you.