Waterlily Harvest

By September 02, 2014

The last time I was on a boat, I capsized into freezing waters and went into hypothermic shock. Very lightly putting it, boats and I weren't the greatest of friends this summer. Having grown up around boats and water in Hong Kong, I'm usually pretty comfortable in water, but only when I expect to be and not when I fall in accidentally.

You could only imagine my hesitation then when my cousin rang me up one afternoon and told me that she had purchased a few kayaks and asked if I wanted to go take them out with her on the lake. The possibility of me falling off a kayak is much higher than in a canoe too. I like the water but I really hate capsizing. Though not wanting to disappoint her, I said yes without thinking.

We had been trying to decide on a day to take them out since our schedules are always so busy. Very last minute though, we decided to do a family picnic after Church on Sunday. This had been in discussion for awhile on the family whatsapp, so why not kill two birds with one stone.

We made a spontaneous trip to the grocery store after dinner the night before because this was really a sporadic decision to do a picnic and kayak trip. Most of us (my cousins and I) had been struggling between heading over to Niagara for the day or spending it at the beach. I voted Niagara -because no danger of capsizing there-, but clearly lost.

After finishing lunch, we strolled around the beach for a bit. None of us had actually been to one since last year in France at the D-Day beaches. That was more sightseeing though. Here we dug for shells, fed the seagulls, and worked on our tan because my legs were ghostly white.

Tiring of the sand and lured with the promise of lilypads, Coco and I ventured out into the lake in search of flowers.

The journey started off wobbly, but as soon as I realized that the water was literally only 3 feet deep, my nervousness subsided. As my 14 year old cousin put it, I was being silly considering that I have my lifeguard certification, but capsizing really just wasn't fun. Though to be fair, it wasn't really the water that I was scared of. It was the cold and in this case, the bugs swarming in, on, and around the water.

We made our way around the lake a few times before venturing out into the open area. Thankfully, the water we were in was calm and peaceful, save the cranes and seagulls that kept us company. Most people there at the beach were fishing in the water we were kayaking in. There was definitely a lot of life in the water, not sure about fish though.

I don't talk about this often, and it doesn't show much now, but I used to love the outdoors. I grew up digging in dirt and sticking my hand in the lake looking for 'creatures'. There's a lake right outside my house that I used to go to all the time with my neighbors. One of my best memories there and with them is the time we found shrimp and snails in that lake and we took them home as pets. Literally most exciting. Last Summer in France was fun as well, when Coco and I found jellyfish and crabs in a little pond in Normandy.

Despite my initial hesitation, this was a nice break from the city. I spent the whole day detached from my cellphone and laptop, which is always a good way to relax. We spend so much time on our electronics nowadays that we forget how to have fun without them.

I remember playing outside when I was younger; in the playground, on the grass, in the forest. These days, I see children roaming around with their faces glued to their iPads and iPhones. Their sandbox is not in their backyard, but on their screen.

After two hours of paddling and flower harvesting, Coco and I made our way back to the shore taking our spoils with us. We went around seeing who could 'harvest' the most flowers for their garden since there was a surprising number of wildflowers that grew around the area.

Leaving the kayaks out to dry, we made our way back to the beach to dry off before heading out for dinner.

Because Korean comfort food is always the perfect way to end a fun-filled flower harvesting family day.


You Might Also Like

0 Lovely Replies