Thursday, August 19, 2004

Camping always brings a sudden flow of love and admiration for existence. Many feelings erode over time in the city, but the breathless sense of wonderment and a complete separation from trite worries rush back like falling liquid into my astonished senses. My awe falls into two categories. The close-up and breathable kind, where I can touch and explore the trees, the rocks and the trails. I can stare silently at the surrounding growth, the gently waving branches set against a perfectly blue background, the dense leaves with sharp lines of escaping sunlight. I can look at those things tirelessly, but a certain anxiety accompanies the profound appreciation, and the aching realization that it's impossible to take in every detail. My eyes try to devour the shades of green, the flickering shadows, and the constantly changing patterns. Nature is so flawless, so perfect in itself.

The other awe I feel when I am kayaking alone surrounded by towering mountains, an open sky, and the endless water. The mountains, with layers and layers of green, are amazing, and the calm lake, a deep dark green, shimmers in the sunlight. The sky, a perfectly even blue that is comforting to the eye, has a few clouds, so it looks realistic. The three agglomerates into a scene that's, well, awesome. And overwhelming. Like endless anticipations built up of crescendoing glissandos on strings, each image falls on me like massive chords, each change like gripping key changes, all reinforcing the beauty of the landscape. Failed metaphors aside, it's quite a view. The precise image is always fleeting, which is why I never tire of kayaking, because it's less of an activity than a deep observation. I remember two years ago I went on an overnight kayaking trip, how wonderful it felt. The lake we kayaked on was the source of BC bottled water, so we were told to dip our waterbottles in and drink the water right from the lake. I loved that.

I am going to post some pictures of the camping trip soon, but they won't be of the lake or the mountains because though pictures are nice, they don't capture the grandeur of the moment. The proportions are all wrong. In any case, camping should be a regular thing.

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