Saturday, November 16, 2013

One Perfect Paddle

I knew there was a reason I hadn't stowed my canoe as yet.  Yes, I had a hunch there'd be one more perfect paddling day, so my boat stayed strapped to the top of my car, just waiting, waiting, waiting.  Well,  that day happened on Friday.  Warm sun, no wind, blue sky, and not another soul around to roil the river's still surface.  I slipped my boat into the sheltered waters that hide out behind a large island,  dipped my paddle into the cold clear water, and glided effortlessly into Paradise.

Okay, I admit that that Paradise claim might seem a bit hyperbolic, but if Paradise means the state we are in when we come face to face with God, well, it's here on this beautiful stretch of the Hudson that I feel closest to my Creator, the source of great goodness out of which all this exquisite natural beauty arises.  When I'm here, I find it easy to pray, and my prayer is simply, "Thank You."

Thank You for the moss-draped, deep-shaded boulders that line the shore, and the dark-green fragrant forest that rises behind them.

Thank You for the wide blue sky, the stately pines, and the sun that warms the banks where the flowers thrive.

Thank You for the brilliant berries that offer a feast for my eyes as well as food for birds and other creatures.  Thanks, too, for the rippling waters that amplify the shoreline's beauty in reflections.

Thank You for the mosses and vines that brighten the banks and soften the rocks' hard edges.

Thank you for the seeds that store the promise of next summer's flowers.  (These handsome pods hold the seeds of Great St. Johnswort, a gorgeous flower that thrives on one of these islands.)

Thank You for the dark shade of the woods and the golden light of the lowering sun that caused this Winterberry bush to just explode into glory.

Here, my prayer fell silent.  I simply breathed Yes! with every breath, and sat with the river's stillness.


Uta said...

Wow, what beauty. I will take a long hike today to see if I can find a spot like that. Thanks

The Furry Gnome said...

Wonderful post. I love that final picture; you have some beautiful places to paddle.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Linda

Raining Iguanas said...

Thank You, for sharing such a beautiful morning with us. You were relishing the leaves, I was raking them. They're special either way I guess.

Tom said...

Wonderful pictures! I well have to stop back again.
Tom The Backroads Traveller

Caroline said...

Just stunning!

catharus said...


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving prayer. Thank you for sharing your prayer and pictures.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thank you, dear readers, for all your kind comments. I wish you all such joy in nature as I have been blessed by.

Unknown said...

We lived in Saratoga Springs for 37 years until Oct 12. We also enjoyed your favorite spot-the Hudson River near Moreau State Park.

Your pictures are wonderful-one older one of the spider web was a screensaver for a while.

Thank you for bringing me this lovely morning.

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Anonymous said...

This is literally in my backyard (or just past it). What a fantastic place to paddle.