Kayaking Beneath Nuvole Bianche (White Clouds)
Come along with me on a peaceful journey in nature
“Nuvole Bianche” by Ludovico Einaudi is on repeat in my brain for the entirety of my beautiful kayaking adventure. For an enhanced experience, I encourage you to listen to this touching piece of music as you become my kayaking companion, gliding through this pristine northern lake together.
The bow of my kayak slices through the lake. Birch trees greet me with applause, their leaves like tiny hands clapping as they rustle in the wind. In the distance, I see a long winding stretch of shoreline to explore, and my heart dances.
Slowing scooping water with my paddle to propel me forward, I gaze into the crystal clear water. Rounded polished rocks of all sizes line the bottom of the lake. Aquatic insects are dancing on the surface of the water, butterflies and dragonflies linger above my head then take off in what looks like a crazy random flight pattern, in pursuit of dinner.
The shoreline is dotted with more scattered rocks and exposed tree roots. Moss-covered fallen trees jut out occasionally, making me vary the path of my vessel.
As I steer around one, I look up at the standing trees beyond. Pine, Elm and other Boreal Forest inhabitants are guarded by Stinging Nettle. They all gaze down upon me with a beatific countenance. How long have they stood there, stretching to the sky, a witness to so many generations of humans and animals coming and going while they remain rooted in one spot, eternal? Their permanence is comforting to me. They embody a guided meditation:
No matter where you are, I will always be here; return to me any time you like.
Come sway with me in the wind.
Inhale the earthy scents.
Hear the trickle of the water beneath your paddle.
Relax your focus, follow the direction of my treetop pointing upwards and beyond…
I lean back and angle my head upwards to contemplate clouds peppering the sky. Overhead are swirling, sweeping puffs of pulled cotton. Further out are plump floating marshmallows hovering above the still surface of the…