Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Plenty of Room to Paddle



"I'm kayaking the LA River tomorrow afternoon," I typed to my friend Michael, who's always asking me what I'm up to, living somewhat vicariously through me.

"U NEVER FAIL ME SANDI!" he replied.

For a second, I felt good. I always feel kind of admired when Michael marvels at how busy I keep myself.

But then, he wrote, "Honestly, you move so much, it's hard for a guy to find you. You're a moving target! .... U have to stay in one place long enough."

"A four-hour hike is not long enough?" I retorted. "Three hours in the library?" Those extended time blocks always feel like an eternity to me.

Michael then clarified: "Being on the move too much is not helpful for 'settling down.'"

Oh.



Even if that is the problem with my singlehood, I don't care.

Everyone says, "It'll happen when you least expect it," or, "when you're not looking."

So I live.



I kayak my way under bridges that people drive, walk, and bike across.



I am just trying to live a good life, be a good person, learn new things, and work on crafting whatever artistic talent I may have.



The desire to be a stable, suitable wife is not going to keep me off a notoriously toxic, polluted industrial river, whose raging rapids halted our kayak excursion...



...in order to explore the rusted relics that litter the lagoons and waterfalls.



Why should I not want to paddle everywhere I can? Why shouldn't I want to see the city from more than just the driver's seat of my car?



Wildflowers line the LA River.



Who else gets to see that?



Who else has witnessed a perched egret on a dead tree branch, or a huge heron flapping its wings overhead?



The LA River has been abused, rerouted, channelized, and polluted. But there is a stretch of it in the Valley, which feels pristine, whose depth reaches as much as eight feet, making it a real river, with a soft bottom, and plenty of room to paddle.

(There are, of course, other parts that are so shallow, you drag the bottom of your kayak along the bottom of the river, and use your paddle to merely push yourself off the lagoon you've found yourself landed upon.)

I know that I'm not going to meet Prince Charming on a kayak tour of the LA River. (I wish!) But that's not the point. I have to do what I want to do, and let the rest fall into place.

If it never does (which it looks like it's not going to), so be it. At least I've lived the life I've wanted to live.

Related Posts:
Los Angeles River's Ugly Beauty
Los Angeles River's Beautiful Ugly
Kayaking the Salton Sea
Photo Essay: Bronx River Estuary Paddle
Mono Lake: From Shore to Surface

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