Afternoon Tea on the Water

Seldom do I head out in my kayak, without taking a thermos of tea and a snack with me. Usually the food is enclosed in a Ziploc bag and tucked inside a fanny pack that I wear in front for easy access. As it also holds other essentials like sun screen, bug repellant, and tissues, it is a handy accessory.

Most often I head into the wind, choosing the hardest paddling for the first part of my session. I have a set time on the water, and know at the half way mark I will turn around. Now, the reward. With the wind behind me, and my kayak weather cocked, I rest my paddle and pull out my thermos.

I associate nature and nurture, so food is part of all my outdoor adventures. Tea on the water feeds not only my body, but my spirit. I soak up the sun and silence, breathe in air so clean it has no smell and breathe out my angst. As I sip a cup of black tea, and crunch a cluster of nutty goodness, gulls race each other down the river. Startled, a family of ducks takes to the air with a cacophony of quacking. Of course, they fly ahead of me, so my forward progress disturbs them time after time. Exasperated I move further into the centre of the river, hoping the distance will give them a sense of safety, and me the peace I crave.

By far the most beautiful and varied part of Saskatchewan is our sky. I lean back and watch as a flock of geese stich a black V across it. If I’m lucky, I’ll catch the lazy glide of a pelican, its white wings outlined by the deepest blue. The best treat, for me, is the constant slide show of sun and cloud, forming infinite shapes. Shades of blue and white combine; creating tie-silk patterns of lavenders and greys, misty blues and brilliant white. When I’m really blessed the trajectory of sun on water becomes a magical path I paddle into my imagination.

Drifting finished, I pack my thermos away, and with the wind assisting, make up for stealing from my return time. Tea on the water. I highly recommend the experience. Join me in spirit the next time you’re out. I lift my cup in a toast to any paddler who rests their paddle for a short while, to sip at life.