Wednesday, July 18, 2007
after my near-death experience on the Elbow River, I called my friend best paddling pal, Susanne, and left her a voice mail at work. I think it was midnight when I left the message. Susanne called first thing the next morning. She asked questions. She was shocked. She empathized. And then she said the magic words, “I hope that this won’t keep you from doing what you love to do? Paddling is when you are most alive.” She continued, “When you, Jane, Ash and I paddle, we don’t take chances. We’re very safe.” What a brilliant thing to share! She totally understood me, what was essential to me--right then and for my future. Her words anchored me in the joy I feel on the water. If she hadn’t said that when she did, I might never have paddled again. I needed what Susanne said more than any of the sympathetic words I got from anyone else. Making sure that you have people in your life who “get” you, who understand your essence is crucial. They are champions of your spirit. They urge your spirit to overcome the body’s fear, and do what brings you most life. As we paddle through life, we need to choose our paddling partners carefully. More on this in the next entry.