McDaniel’s Marsh

Ah, an evening of complete and utter solitude!  As we paddled our way around the small pond, I couldn’t help think, “damn! This is the way to spend life!”  Not a sound to be heard: no cars, no dogs barking, not so much as a frog peeping (that came later).  We could hear nothing but the rustle of weeds hitting our kayaks as we maneuvered deeper into the pond. When we finally did hear a noise it was a pissed off heron blaring as it flew away.  It was a wonderful sound, an echo of nature we’d hear no where else. 

This was our first trip of the year.  I should clarify by saying it was also our first trip EVER.  I received my kayak two-and-a-half years ago for Christmas.  I had wanted nothing else!  I was so excited…and have never taken it out.  Summers came, summers went, and there it sat.  It’s hard to go when you have to leave your family behind.  But Kevin found a great used one the other day and now we plan on getting out there!  He even took Dakota out last night–what great bonding time!  It’s so wonderful in so many ways: out of the house into the fresh air, out on a peaceful, gorgeous pond–the perfect place to experience the beauty of nature, and of course, uninterrupted dad time!  I can’t wait to take my daughter out!  Kids miss out on nature today yet so much is riding on getting this next generation involved in the land.  When was the last time you heard a kid say they wanted to be a park ranger?  My daughter used to, but alas, life has gotten in the way.  Maybe I can reconnect her to that desire.  Someone has to care for the land!  If you haven’t read it before, check out Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.  Awesome eye opener! 


Another neat piece of this trip was being able to see the ledges I always climb to with my dogs.  A different take on my world!  While I’m usually looking down on this small slip of water thinking myself high above the “bustle”, here I was…not a bustle to be found!  It’s nice to know the peace and quiet reaches from hill to valley!

My town isn’t big.  It isn’t crowded.  It’s a good ole’ small town in New England.  I love it here.  I’ve been involved with the historical society for four years.  I sit on the board of trustees for my library.  I attend Old Home Days every year.  Yet, I’d never even ventured to this small pond across the road!  We think we know our surroundings so well, but until you go out and truly see the nature that surrounds you, it’s all foreign.  I love walking through the woods or paddling around this marsh and thinking about all the people who came before me…all the people who called this place ‘home’ decades–centuries–before me.  Perhaps their echo is here too.  I know I can feel it.

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