Life in the Slow Lane

Covid has shut down large chunks of my social life. Confined me to writing at a table in our bunk room instead of the cozy environs of Amity Coffee. Diverted me to Zooming with my delivery-mates instead of bringing library books to shut-ins. Shackled me to the stove every afternoon at 5:00 instead of eating out now and then. Limited our table to two instead of the frequent dinner guests we love to invite to our home.

There have been positive sides too. Loads of time for writing, urging my book forward toward becoming a real manuscript. Seeing family more than ever, the only personal contact we’ve allowed ourselves indoors. Getting out to enjoy our State Parks. Pairing up with friends to run and walk and talk, talk, talk in the great outdoors. Pedaling my bike up and down the shore, waving to other cyclists and runners.

And then came “recovery.” I had minor surgery to repair a hernia the same week Rich had his latest heart procedure, sidelining us in tandem. Our Covid-suppressed household narrowed even further, as life quieted down to allow our bodies to heal. I finished several books, started knitting again and poured myself into my writing. In solitude. Indoors.

Although I bounced back quickly, I was still under strict restrictions: do not lift over 15 pounds, avoid straining my core, no cardio exercise for two weeks. Then came the empowering words, “Walk as often as you feel able.”

It started out as shuffling. I barely made it to Superior Street and back. I couldn’t keep up with Rich for a 1-mile walk, despite his impairment. But each day I was determined to try again. Four days in it actually felt like walking. Each day from there got better, my walks longer.

When I’m running or cycling, I’m aware of my surroundings but more focused on the activity. Pushing my pace, pedaling up hills, getting in a good workout. Walking has shifted me into slow motion. I have more time to appreciate nature as I amble along. I open my eyes and ears to the world around me. It’s as much about the escape as it is about moving my body.

I hear the soothing rush of Amity Creek for the whole distance of 7 Bridges Road, and pause on the bridges to watch it gushing with spring run-off.

Amity Creek above Smiley Falls
Amity Creek at The Deeps

My limitations encourage me to sidetrack and look more closely at the evidence of Spring’s struggle to arrive.

Spring buds

I have more time to appreciate the beauty of the sunrise, even if the sun is hiding.

White sunrise Brighton Beach

I catch a glimpse of nature’s artistry created by the prolific rainfall, and pause to admire.

Brighton Beach reflection

I take the time to play with “burst mode” on my phone in order to catch the waves at their highest.

Brighton Beach waves

I stop and sit on the rocks warmed by the sun, listening to the water gently lapping.

Resting at Brighton Beach

I catch the scenery I see almost daily, but in a new light.

Brighton Beach gazebo
Gazebo with shoreline

I’d be lying if I said I was content with my daily walks. I can’t wait for the day I can resume running and cycling. I’m told to “start slow with short timeframes.” So I’ll continue to supplement that with more walks, more observations. Still living life in the slow lane.

Molly at Brighton Beach

Shooting The Deeps

Timing is everything.  We had just returned home from a trip to the Cities, and before we even finished unpacking we decided to go over to The Deeps on Amity Creek.  We could hear the roar of the water rushing over the falls and rapids due to the spring run-off, and wanted to see it for ourselves.  So we grabbed our cameras and headed over to the creek.

As we got to the end of our driveway, several vehicles passed us carrying multiple kayaks each.  Since the road is closed just above the first bridge of Seven Bridges Road, it could only mean one thing – they were going to kayak on the creek at The Deeps.  Really?  Are they actually planning to go over the falls?  Amazing!  Our pace quickened and we hastened over to the falls.  We passed a number of kayakers walking down from the parking lot. They were checking out the lay of the creek and the volume of the water before committing to kayaking on it.  But in short order, they’d made their decision and were unpacking their gear.  Wow – we couldn’t wait to witness this spectacle!

Sure enough, one at a time they put in just above the footbridge by The Deeps.  They knew what they were doing, sporting helmets and other protective gear, and there were spotters positioned all along the route for safety purposes.  Still, you could never have talked us into doing it!  Shortly after scooting the kayak into the water, they were paddling through the rushing water and heading for the bridge.  They expertly navigated through the boulder-strewn waters and then whoosh!  Over the falls they went!



We each positioned ourselves at spots across from the falls where we tried taking pictures – a tricky proposition in itself.  (Yet nothing in comparison to what those kayakers were doing!)  But eventually the desire to see the action up close drew both Rich and me back to the bridge where we could see it all take place from beginning to heart-stopping end.

IMG_0690After a number of guys had gone down, one of the women worked up her courage and followed suit.  She’s the one in the blue kayak with an orange jacket.  After successfully making it to the bottom, her kayak flipped, and it took several tries to right it.  I just couldn’t imagine being submerged in those icy waters.  Her finish drew cheers from all her IMG_0693comrades, particularly the other women.

Rich took videos of the action. Here is the best one: Kayaking Video

What a thrill to watch!  It was such a surprise adventure.  We had no idea when we set out to shoot pictures of the falls that it was kayakers who would be doing the shooting at The Deeps.