Checking out the new pontoon at Donegal Town pier
With restrictions on water-based activities lifted, I was finally able to get back out on the water.
Tuesday was a beautiful, calm evening so along with my daughter I took our canoe out on Donegal Bay. Some other friends had the same idea and while it wasn’t a planned meet-up, it added to the pleasure of the occasion. Where better to catch up than drifting gently on the tide as the sun began to set; a tranquil end to a day that held no such promise with its wet and windy start?
It felt like a much more natural way to enjoy the company of others. Maintaining a distance of two metres or more is perfectly normal when we are each in our own kayaks or canoes. We didn’t have to constantly remind ourselves not to step forward, or to correct our physical distancing space when we move too close together without realising.
Physically, it was also a joy. Muscle memory is strong, and the gentle stretch and twist motion of canoe paddling felt really good after a day in front of the laptop.
I have written before about how much I missed being on the water, and about how big a part it plays in my life. But it wasn’t until I came back to shore and was driving home that I really appreciated the full extent of what it means to me. Every muscle in my body felt alive, fulfilled, happy; I was ready for anything.
And it goes even further. That hour on the water has filled me with hope. All the things we haven’t been able to do are suddenly within reach. Some we can grasp now, others will have to wait a little longer. But if we get this right, the rewards will be there.
The ultimate goal is of course, getting the daily death toll to zero. So let’s not get carried away, but instead take pleasure in the opportunities of each new day, of each new phase of this delicate exit from lockdown. And let's do it right so that we can keep moving forward, all of us, leaving no-one behind.
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