August is my favorite month and I’m glad I was given her name. In August, the summer has ripened, it’s at its peak, still full of promise, but with the knowledge that nothing lasts forever. So I live my life, mirroring my namesake. Now, at 64, my name resonates within me more than ever.
I woke up hearing the morning bird outside my window, always calling me into action before my body or brain is really ready. I’ve accepted that this is part of the daily flow of life in the woods. Either one adjusts or remains locked in struggle. The sun was warm and its buttery rays were filtering through my sheer curtains. I stretched, working out the knots and creaks of sleeping out of my limbs. I am in very good shape, but laying in basically one position for eight hours does take its toll. I took the time to luxuriate in the comfort of my bed to plan my day. Even just five years ago I would have been hopping out of bed, eager to get a start on the day. As if I was afraid I’d miss something. Age has brought some wisdom and awareness.
Hmm…….what did I want to do? I could go for a hike, a bike ride or a nice car ride to the best ice cream shop this side of the Mississippi. Or, I could take my kayak out to Tanner’s Lake.
The last idea won. A quick breakfast, fill up the camelback water pack, throw a few snacks in, load up the kayak and oars and off I went. Tanner’s Lake was a fifteen minute drive there, without traffic.
My daughter, Penelope, called me, while I was in route, but I didn’t pick up my cell. When I got to the lake, I parked my Forester and got out. A perfect day for kayaking. The wind was barely a whisper. Okay – time for the SPF bug spray. Then I called Penelope.
“Mom, where are you??”, she asked, without skipping a beat.
“And hello to you, my beloved child. I just got to Tanner’s Lake. Going to go kayaking.”
“Would you listen to me if I asked you not to go? I have a really bad feeling.”
“Why, sweetheart? What’s the matter?”
“I don’t know. Just don’t think you should go. Come here instead. Jake and Bella would love to see you.”
Jake and Bella were her two rescue puppies.
“I promise you I’ll be careful, okay? The sky is crystal clear blue, not one cloud in it and the wind is very calm. If I get any bad feelings, I’ll pay attention. Promise.”
Penelope inherited her “intuition” from me. A gift and a burden. I never felt it about myself, and same with her. We only sensed things about others.
I heard her sigh. A long, drawn out sigh.
“Okay, mom. Just promise me you’ll be careful!”
I wasn’t being stubborn, but I honestly could not see what could go wrong. The beach was nearly empty, hardly a car in the parking lot and no foul weather was in the forecast. Our intuition was not a definite because the future is not fixed. Sometimes we were wrong. Our stats were close to 50-50.
My first mistake was to go kayaking after my daughter’s warning. How blissfully unaware was I as I carried my kayak and things with me and started out on the lake. I purposely left my cell in the car, as to not be disturbed. Kayaking was my meditation-in-movement. No cell was my second mistake. Actually, both were more than mistakes because I should have known better. Both were stupid and dangerous choices.