My respect for, and love of, water is steadfast

Marni Edmiston | McDonald Creek, Glacier Park, Montana

I almost drowned as a young person – an event that made me understandably terrified of water. However, as a young adult, long after finally learning how to swim, I became fascinated with kayaking. It seemed the closest thing to being a water creature and I was hooked. I bought my first kayak – wide with lots of stability – and proceeded to connect with the water and with the peace and happiness being on the water brings. Though I learned to swim years before, I had learned to swim to survive, not really to enjoy. Through spending time in my kayak, I learned to be on the water, to go with the water. Kayaking allowed me to be in the still places; to shed little water, to glide silently by wildlife, to see fish swimming below, to watch water skippers gliding alongside – to be part of something bigger, something incredibly restorative. I’m not a whitewater runner. I still sometimes get scared. I always wear my safety equipment and never kayak alone. My respect for, and love of, the water is steadfast. Rivers, creeks, streams, lakes, the ocean – they are of us and we are of them. They are the blood of this earth and integral to the cycle of life that keeps us all alive.

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