Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rumors of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

I guess I looked like a body floating in the White Clay Creek. Except I wasn’t just floating, I was moving. Upstream, against the current. But still I appreciated that people stopped to make sure that I was not dead. I was thankful for all 5 “Are u ok’s?” I got, and no one called 911 before checking to see that I was in fact not dead. I appreciated that. I appreciated peoples concern that they would stop to see if anything was wrong. Restores my faith in humanity.

But someone snorkeling in the White Clay Creek should not be the exception, even on the cusp of winter. It should be the norm, so that when people see someone floating in a stream they assume they are watching fish, or appreciating the architecture of the creek, or maybe enjoying the rush of weightless flight through riffles and rapids rather than assuming they’re dead. Creek snorkeling shouldn’t be that abnormal. There should be hundreds of people creek snorkeling. Hundreds of people should be sticking their faces in the nearest stream to see what’s going on, to experience the perceived mundane in extraordinary ways.

I was trying to watch a school of large chubs, and tried harder to get a decent shot of the shy fish. But it was difficult to get lost in the wilderness of the White Clay after the 6th “Hey can you hear me? Are you ok? WHAT are you doing?” followed by my explanation that there really are amazing things to see here, even now. Really, I’m not crazy, and I’m not dead. On the contrary, I’m very sane and very much alive…creek snorkeling does that for me. It’s been a long 6 week haul without a day off and these trips keep me sane. Creek snorkeling helps me stay in the here and now, and helps me feel alive. It puts things into perspective. Maybe I can get these folks into the creek when things warm up in the spring so they too can experience the weightless solitude, perspective, and discovery that keeps me coming back.

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