Writer’s Diary #26: Kayaking, writing, and hiking

I spent the early morning kayaking. We left at 6:15 and finished at 8:45. It was glorious. The summer sun, at 6 o’clock, was a red ball in the sky that reminded me more than anything of when I was on an exchange in India at 18, with the sun rising red above the fog south of Delhi in an agricultural region where I lived for three months, and I realized driving to our starting point that I don’t wake up early enough in the summer, and then we started kayaking, which was extraordinary: we started in a lake, went upriver through a wetland, past lily pads and reeds and trees, and into the maple forest along the edge of the river and it felt like going upriver in the Chocó from the River Quitó to the Pató River as the forest closed in on the river and we paddled under silver maples and came around a bend upon a family of river otters who were not happy to see us as they rose to the surface and made distressed noises before disappearing underwater and, even though I’ve driven the road which is a few hundred yards away a hundred times, it was a magical moment, which continued as we came across a grove of Eastern Hemlock and then went into the unknown as the river got narrower and shallower, and then, just as I was almost done by the rapids and the portage, we came to the bridge where I left the kayak, walked to the road, hitchhiked back to the car, drove home, showed, and then commuted into town to drop off the kids, go to daycare, and start this writer’s diary, before turning to fragments and makeshift before a walk with the kids and a friend.

I have about three hours to work on the writing. It’s time enough to make progress, but no email, no paperwork, and no service.

This week has been a productive one, as a writer. I’ve done the work by putting aside other obligations. The thing about words is it’s too easy to become distracted. But, this last week has reminded me how much progress I can make, when I guard my time. But this is easier when the rest of the day has glorious activity. Like, a river walk with a friend.