Hi everyone! You are my best supporters, my blog readers! So, I wanted to let you know that I am unveiling two presentations about my paddling experiences this summer. If you know of an event looking for a speaker, please have the organizer contact me using the comments form below. Comments are not published until I approve them, so I will not publish any requests. As for everyone else… What do you think of my idea? Would you like to hear about my trips? Would you find it interesting? Leave comments!
800 Kilometers on the River — Insights from my Summer of Wilderness Paddling
Join outdoor enthusiast and owner of Flow North Paddling Company, Teresa Griffith as she shares the challenges and triumphs of canoeing and kayaking over 800 km on the beautiful Peace River. In total, she paddled for nineteen days — ten days solo, nine days with a canoe partner — steeped in the beauty of the wilderness river. She overcame shoulder trouble, thunderstorms, shallow water, strong wind and waves throughout her journey. She spent seven continuous days alone on the water, with only herself and her kayak, and she wasn’t the same when she finished. She shares inspiration which came to her on that portion of the trip, when time stood still and every paddle stroke was a meditation.
800 Kilometers on the River — Lessons in Independence
Join outdoor enthusiast and owner of Flow North Paddling Company, Teresa Griffith as she shares the challenges and triumphs of canoeing and kayaking over 800 km on the beautiful Peace River. In total, she paddled for nineteen days — ten days solo, nine days with a canoe partner — steeped in the beauty of the wilderness river. She overcame shoulder trouble, thunderstorms, shallow water, strong wind and waves throughout her journey. She spent seven continuous days alone on the water, with only herself and her kayak, and she wasn’t the same when she finished.
A dynamic speaker, Teresa gives an outline of her past experiences which led her to make this journey. She reviews her trip preparation and practical aspects of the journey. She also shares inspiration and insight which came to her on the solo portion of the trip, when time stood still and every paddle stroke was a meditation. Sitting out a severe thunderstorm on the river’s muddy bank, nowhere to hide, wisdom and poetry surfaced from somewhere deep within. You’ll be encouraged, uplifted, and inspired to stretch yourself beyond what you thought possible.
I have about 10 books from the library right now. I’m deep in the throes of researching and writing the padding guide about the Peace River, so I got some local history books. One of them is The Last of the True Pioneers by Ted Krause. He lived in northern Alberta and the book tells the stories from his life between 1929 to 2004. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole book, but I was flipping through the first few pages and the last few pages. This is what’s found on the last page, written when Ted was 78 years old, and I loved it and wanted to share it here.
If I had it to do over again…
I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax a little more. I would limber up quite a bit, and be a little sillier than I have been this trip.
I know there would be very few things I would take so seriously, and I would be crazier.
I’d take more chances. I’d take more nonsense journeys. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers and watch more sunsets.
Oh, I have had my moments… and if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, that’s what I’d have most of… just moments… one after another, instead of this living so many years ahead of each day.
If I had it do do over again, I would go more places. I’d get up and go quickly and travel much lighter than I ever have, and I would go places I never dreamed I’d go.
If I had my life to live over again, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and I would stay that way until later in the fall. I would play hooky more. And I wouldn’t make such good grades, either… except by accident.
I would piss off my doorstep just to say it’s my doorstep and I can do what I want.
I would go into the wilderness and scream at the top of my lungs just to hear the echo.
Try some of these things — they’re good for the soul.
And above all, do not pay any attention to what the neighbors are saying about you. They like to talk.
A poem (not written by me) that struck a chord in me…
How joyful to look upon the awakened
And to keep company with the wise.
Follow then the shining ones,
The wise, the awakened, the loving,
For they know how to work and forbear.
But if you cannot find
Friend or master to go with you,
Travel on alone –
Like a king who has given away his kingdom,
Like an elephant in the forest.
If the traveler can find
A virtuous and wise companion
Let him go with him joyfully
Friend or master to go with you
And overcome the dangers of the way.
As the moon follows the path of the stars.
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That was me… I was the traveler, who, unable to find “a virtuous and wise companion” (or someone who thinks like I do) was forced to go through life alone. I wasn’t miserable, I wasn’t lonely, at least not most of the time, but I was alone. Now, I am so pleased/thrilled/joyful – there are no words for how I feel – to have found my love, Darren! He is wonderful, he is enlightened, he is awakened… and we are of one mind!
What a joy to walk with one who is of like mind! There is no explaining, no misunderstanding, no confusion! No justifying… I guess I never realized how much I do that! It’s totally unnecessary, yet I find myself doing it often, with people who have no need to know my reasons why!
I am so excited to start my life with him! Hmmm, that sounds like I haven’t been living all this time. Well, I have been, but somehow I feel like I am starting again. And to live every day one moment at a time, is to start life – to start each day with no baggage from the day before (even each moment!), with anticipation and excitement, peace and tranquility. No fear, anxiety, not even a trace of hate. With no expectations to be dashed, no agenda that must be attained. With true freedom, to just be who I am, and to be at peace. Seeking only clarity and wisdom, and to be filled with love… which happens naturally with my love, Darren, at my side!
You are so amazing, my wonderful one. I love you so much… can’t wait to see you!
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The poem comes from a book “Teachings of the Buddha” edited by Jack Kornfield. This particular poem is from the Dhammapada, translated by Thomas Byrom