Everyone mourns in their own way, they keep telling me, but not having lost a mother before, I was not aware that my own way of grieving would include continual nightmares about losing things, irrational anger at just about everyone, and an inability to see beyond the rim of the barrel where a big piece of my heart is hiding.
Time for a change of scenery: a quick trip to visit the grandkids and a little paddle in the canoe. The lake we chose is not particularly interesting--small, surrounded by houses, never far from traffic noise--but it served its purpose, providing an early-morning paddle in perfect weather. We saw herons, cormorants, kingbirds, purple martins, and a pair of swans, and we even saw an osprey nest with an adult osprey and two nestlings.
The chief advantage of this lake was its proximity to my daughter and son-in-law's house, so that my daughter and granddaughter were able to go out for a paddle with my husband while I watched the adorable grandson. I don't know how much he enjoyed sitting in the shade of a mulberry tree where orioles were feeding, but it did my soul good to have his little sleepy head on my shoulder in the still of the morning.
Things got a little hairy when it was time for the canoe to come in: another boater backed his trailer too far into the water and got it caught on the edge of the boat ramp, so no one was getting in or out that way for a while. Instead, a friendly fisherman offered to help pull our canoe up on a grassy bank, and Little E got a kick out of "helping" Grampa pull the boat across the grass. The fish might not have enjoyed her loud exuberance, but it's hard to tell a three-year-old to use her indoor voice outdoors, especially when there's so much fun stuff going on.
So it was not a great lake but we had a great time. There's no room for anger in a canoe unless you want to capsize, and a pair of swans swimming in the distance is the ideal cure for stuck-in-a-barrel vision. One of these days I'll get this grieving thing figured out. Meanwhile, who's up for a paddle?