Kip’s Comments 12-1-21

Setting Sun on Ice - Image 717825 (© Kip Ladage)


The Best is in My Mind

Now that the calendar has turned over to December it was time for me to go paddling again. By paddling today, I can now say that for another year I have paddled in every month. For most that feat is unimportant. For me it is a little important considering all goals, but was something I wanted to achieve.       

With that explained I want to share some thoughts that I am almost certain I will not be able adequately put into words. 

Today’s balmy December conditions allowed me to paddle without gloves or a cap. As I put my canoe on the water a bald eagle took flight nearby. The river was open in most areas, but there was still some thin ice to maneuver around. Considering I was on the water in a canoe in December, the outing was about as good as it could get.       

As my canoe sliced nearly silently through the water, with my paddle making louder but pleasing sounds as the blades cut the surface, I moved almost effortlessly toward the thin ice floating on the Wapsipinicon River. Not too far from the ice I stopped paddling to allow my momentum to push me into the very thin ice. Once settled in the ice I sat still in my canoe to experience the natural flow of the river – the sounds and the visuals.   

There was something magical about the setting… the thin ice tinkling as the water and gentle waves moved one piece of ice against others. With eyes closed I sat still to listen to one tinkle after another – a sound far prettier than any wind chimes man can make, yet not the least bit obtrusive. For many long seconds I took it in…just the subtle sounds as a slight breeze pushed past.     

When I opened my eyes again, thinking I would paddle on, I noticed the beauty of the thin ice combined with a setting sun. Paddling further would have to wait. Instead I sat in my canoe even longer, sitting still except to compose images and to photograph the interesting patterns, the textures, the scene while listening to the sounds of thin ice moving on the water. It was a surreal minute or two – something I hope can be repeated, but likely will never have the impact it had today.     

I am sure my words failed to accurately describe the feelings at the time. Since sometimes experiences exceed the ability of words, I will accept that the best of today is in my mind. For the rest I have one photo to share.

Setting Sun on Ice - Image 717825 (© Kip Ladage)

Setting Sun on Ice – Image 717825 (© Kip Ladage)


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