Forget counselors and prescriptions for anxiety reducing medication if you're looking for a way to unwind. If you want to reduce stress go buy a canoe.
We considered ours for about a day and a half before buying it. It seemed like such a splurge but after just one glorious, four hour trip we've decided it wasn't a luxury after all.
This is good for us. It's so good, this is essential.
Our outing was made better by the company of good friends visiting from New Jersey - Janice, Bob and their daughter Beth. Their trip down has been in the works for months, and eagerly awaited by all of us.
Alex and Beth are like peas in a pod so they insisted on riding together in the canoe we rented for Bob and Janice.
John didn't go on this trip because John loves water but hates boats. We're hoping to work on that this summer with small trips to help overcome his skittishness.
The weather was perfect. A breeze was blowing. The light danced across the surface of the winding creek. The mosquitos took the day off.
At the end of the trip we hauled the canoes out of the water and had dinner at the creekside fishcamp where I used to work years ago. As we ate, we relived the trip. "Did you see that fish jump out of the water? Can you believe how huge those cypress trees get? Don't you think it was nice the way the other boaters slowed down so their wakes wouldn't rock our canoe? Wasn't that fun?"
I came home feeling a little tired by relaxed and happy. The relaxed feeling lingers. When I close my eyes, I can see the mirror-smooth surface of the water reflecting the trees, smell the wisteria and hear the songs of the birds.
And I feel....wonderful.