top of page

The Day’s Delight: Pilgrimage

The Big Lake was nearly still today, so I hauled my kayak down to the water and went paddling. I went west, hugging the shore at whatever distance I could reasonably swim in the unlikely event that I capsized.

The water was almost turquoise on the way out with the sun just slightly behind me. The surface was filmy with pollen and little clusters of foamy-looking seeds, and reminded me of living up the Trail on Seagull and seeing the bright yellow line left on the basalt by the birches and aspens.

Down below were sloping slabs of rock and big boulders. I suppose I could see twenty feet down most of the time.

I glided past houses that all have a slightly older look (not so many McMansions with windows all the way up to the vaulted roof); properties that must be worth a lot in resale value but were settled long enough ago that some have the occasional tar paper boathouse perched right at the shore.

And I saw a bear! Likely a year old, judging by the size. It didn’t notice me out on the water and so I got a good look at it galumphing around, glossy-furred and simultaneously a little scruffy. I wondered what it was finding to eat this time of year. (Garbage and empty bird feeders, according to a friend up the hill).

My destination was Cut Face Creek. I biked there yesterday, and doing the same route with very different views via very different modes of movement was deeply satisfying: to see a thing from more than one angle, to trace the same line over and over again– it makes you notice more, be more present. It shifts from knowing to knowing. From abstract to literal, from thought to body.

That must be the point of a pilgrimage made again and again, of a rosary strung through the fingers: not the arriving but the going, the movement itself, and what happens to your own body in motion along the way.


bottom of page