Twas the night before freezeup and all through the land
not a paddler was stirring – not even a kayaker
the paddles were stored in their cases with care
in the hopes that open water soon would be there
the children were nestled all snug behind the counter
while visions of paddling danced in their heads
with ma making dough and I behind the camera
we’d just settled down for a long night of cookie making
when out in the shop there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the kitchen to see what was the matter –
Away to the triple pane I flew like an overprotective father,
Tore open the insulating plastic screen and threw up the sash.
the moon on the edge of the newly cut cedar,
gave some lustre to the varnish on the paddles in the rack
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature paddleboard and eight tiny yoginis,
With a little old instructor so sunburnt and extroverted,
I knew in a moment s/he must be the saint of enjoying the water.
More rapid than downwinders his paddlers they stroked,
And s/he hollered and encouraged and hoped they all knew how to swim
“Now, Grom! now, newbie! now whitewater kitten!
On, rookie! on, funseeker! Wear your cold water mitten!
To the top of the wavetrain! to the top of the drop!
Now jstroke now jstroke now feather it all!”
– and that’s about it for my feeble rhyming abilities. Three daughters are home now. Two of them were the ‘models’ for paddles this summer. The oldest was off playing college soccer. They’re hunting for hidden presents, eating cookies for breakfast, and already getting bored. A true winter time family fest.
I hope each of you are finding joy in its many different forms here at the end of the year!