This past weekend, while in Washington, D.C. for the National Writing Project Spring Meeting, I learned the NWP works with the National Park Service to get more people into the parks and writing about it. How cool is that??
I love the outdoors and the National Park Service, so I've been thinking about this new bit of information a lot this week. How fun would it be to visit and write about parks with a group of people who love to do the same? And then I remembered... I've done that before.
Way back when I first participated in the Georgia Southern Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute in 2010, I wrote a little piece about kayaking. I read it there and then more or less forgot about it. Until today...
Enjoy, friends! And, if you've got park stories to share, I'd love to hear/read them. :)
Kayaking the Coast
Sitting on a warm riverbank in Orono, Maine, one hand behind me in the grass, I catch sight of something small and red floating towards me from under the bridge. As the breeze tosses hair into my face, the little bit of red turns to a slash of crimson with a spot of reflective yellow on top. In another moment, I see the yellow spot has sprouted a head and two smoothly working arms. Mesmerized by the steady rhythm, I watch as the kayaker propels herself skillfully through the gently encouraging river stream. When she gets close enough to see me, I shoot my eyes back into my book so as not to be caught watching.
Reluctantly returning my attention to my required reading, I tell myself that I won’t always be the bookish one stuck on the bank. One day I’ll be that person on the water.
Athletic, smooth, and clearly together.
A guttural “Hghh!” shoots out of my mouth as my arms are pulled the wrong way behind me, my wet hands struggling to grip the paddle attempting to yank me backwards. As I awkwardly pull the paddle back over my head and return to an upright position, I can hear my friends’ laughter bouncing off the flooded cypress trees and coming back for me.
Amanda J. Hedrick
Story collector, recipe enthusiast, educator, striving for a constant input and output of all things art and learning.