Paddling My Canoe
I practically lived on the water when we lived in Muskoka, Ontario. But I had never gone out by myself in a canoe until my final summer there. I would have been 12.
We must have been visiting a friend’s cottage, because normally there is no way I could have been paddling a canoe in Windermere. For one thing, the dock was a busy centre for motor boats, both inboard and outboard. For another, I would have been swimming, instead.
As I recall, the cottage which was on a smaller lake (the name’s forgotten) was in splendid isolation. But there were islands in the distance which called to me.
One very sunny day, I set out on my own to see if I could make it as far as one of those islands and then get back before dusk.
I didn’t succeed: the island was farther than I thought; and the sun burned my bare legs until they looked like they belonged to a lobster. I made it back late that afternoon, a very tired puppy. And I never did it again.
Two things came out of hat experience: 1) the hair on my legs never really grew; and 2) I may have touched on a past life as a fur trader and explorer. It was enough.