The Beauty of Many

Yesterday I participated in a Dragon Boat race. My company sponsors a boat every year for the annual Riverfest, and so me, and twenty-four of my co-workers, practice and practice, and then race.

A Dragon Boat is not like a canoe. It is something more, and something less. It’s thin and light, more like a racing scull than some high-sided, sharp-keeled North American boat. There are eleven rowers, on each side, those who row left-handed and those who row right. There’s a drummer on the bow, a coxswain of sorts, and someone in the back who handles the long rudder.

You don’t have to be in the best of shape to be successful at Dragon Boats. What you have to be is willing to give up your ego, your distraction and your desire to do best for you to the immediate now of your team. You see, Dragon Boating is all about team.

You need to be in perfect harmony, all twenty-two of you who row. The oars need to dip into the water at exactly the same time, and to the same depth. When you shorten stroke, it needs to be to the same length, and when you reach, each rower leans forward, leaning into the space of the person ahead, reaching into their water, as that person reaches into the space of the person ahead of them. All the time, you pace yourself to the sound of the drum and the breathing of your team. Forward, dip, pull, recover, one stroke after the other, each in perfect harmony, until you feel the boat lift and fly, making the work of moving the water lighter, the boat itself riding forward on the strength of your single, dedicated effort.

We speak more often these days of ‘being in the moment.’ Dragon Boating is an exercise that can only be successful when that lesson is learned.

My best to everyone and my special thanks to the incomparable Ms Buffy.

If you haven’t looked at Harlow Layne’s (Gyllene) Facebook, take a gander. She’s about to launch her own original romance writing.

Chapter 13 – Glass Slippers


Sweeping Through

Hope this finds you happy and well as the season draws close to turning yet again. The weather here is warm and moist, unusual for August in this part of the world. It hints of things to come: rains that are colder and winds that blow rather than rustling on their way. It’s not on the trees yes, but instead in the air, that hint that changes are coming.

It is one of the aspects of living in New England that I love most. There is no false comfort that every day will be as the last. Instead, you are faced with the reality of the great wheel that turns daily, ending some things and beginning others. Spring to Summer, Summer to Fall, Fall to Winter, like the great circles of our lives.

My best to all of you, and thank you, Ms Buffy for taking time to comment and rearrange. You have a sure sense of the flow of words and my work benefits from it.

Now, we’ll see if my new Facebook link works. You can ‘like’ my Natsgirl page to get alerts on that social engine. Appreciate it.

Chapter 12 – Sweeping Through

The Company of Women

I post from a trip to the Catskills. These are an offshoot of the Appalachians, tall enough, but without the ragged splendor of the Rockies. The path we took yesterday was an old carriage road that carried up and up from a small parking area past an abandoned shell of a hotel to a fire tower that made you want to cry out, “I’m King of the World!”

Along this journey I walked in the company of women. As some of you know, I am a solo hiker on most journeys, but I have come to a new appreciation for the joy that comes from spending time in nature with like-minded women. There is no pressure to be clever or pretty or nice. One sang, one complained, one joked, and buoyed by easy friendship and an encouraging word.

There is strength in being among your own. A strength that feeds you and gives you the strength to face those challenges life brings with new energy.

The Northman family will find that it is not enough to have themselves. They will need the strength that comes with being in the company of others for the challenges they face.

My best to you. Thank you, Ms Buffy for your editing. My thoughts are with you.

And a special call-out to Harlow Layne (Gyllene). Your Alex is coming to life!

Chapter 11 – Fool’s Folly