In an effort to exercise and strengthen my wrist, and to exercise my long suffering extended winter blues demons, I took a kayak over to North South Lake. I haven’t been there since Winter Solstice when I hiked to Palenville Overlook in the frozen snow. The lake was starting to freeze over at that point. I knew it had to be clear now that it had been sunny and warm, and all the little ponds and creeks in the area are ice free. There is still some snow in the low shadowy places in the woods, and up at the higher elevations, but for the most part we are down to brown bare ground. Muscle memory and physics got me into the boat without even getting my feet wet and then propelled me across the water. Rhythmic paddle strokes back and forth, wind blowing my hat over my face, sun glaring off the water momentarily blinding me in the kindest way. Freedom is the open water, a kayak bow pointing toward distant mountains propped against a bright blue sky, a solitary paddler first on the water. I paddled until my body ached in that glorious way muscled do when they are worked with joyous intentions. I floated, let the stiff sharp breeze push my little floating craft across the surface and into shore. I basked in the sunshine warm on my skin, smelled the wet earth smell of a lake coming back to life after a long cold winter, watched mergansers, ducks, and geese swimming, paddling furiously through the choppy water. I become a small part of this awakening lake, immersed in the rhythm of spring, entwined in the fabric of Mother Nature’s radiant web. After the splendid paddle, when I got back to my car, a wondrous random thing happened. I ran into an old rafting friend (and her boyfriend) who I had not seen in a couple of years. It just happened to be her birthday; they had travel to the Catskills for a couple of days of birthday getaway. So I invited them over to my house for an impromptu birthday cookout. Our first cookout of the year! We sat on the porch eating burgers and talking as the sky clouded over and the sun set. It is truly a remarkable and sublime world we live in.