MESSING ABOUT IN BOATS

MESSING ABOUT IN BOATS

Posted on August 12 by Karen Hood-Caddy
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“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

So said Mole in ‘The Wind in the Willows’. How right he was! There IS nothing like messing about in boats. But why? Why do we love them so?

The moment you step into a boat, one of its most delightful attributes becomes immediately clear: boats float! And floating is one of our earliest experiences. Whether we remember it or not, each of us spent the first nine months of our lives floating in the water of our mother’s wombs. Hanging out in water felt great then and it feels good now.

Despite that liquid start, however, most of us live the majority of our lives on land. The earth, as wonderful as it is, can be hard underfoot. Especially in cities. We get pushback with every footfall. There’s not much pushback in a boat. Only a redeeming feeling of buoyancy.  Boats give us the sense that there’s something holding us up, something keeping our heads above water and boats deliver this message in a gentle, rock-a-by-baby sort of way.

For really, what’s most special about boats is that they bring us close to water. Without requiring us to actually get in it and get wet! Water is not only our biological ancestry, it’s also what we’re mostly made of. So, when we get in a boat and get close to water again, there must be a primitive, cellular home-coming. Like a family reunion.

A family reunion where there only one thing getting talked about: going with the flow.

Boats help us remember that. A good bit of wisdom at any time.

Karen Hood-Caddy

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
Karen Hood-Caddy photo

Karen Hood-Caddy

Karen Hood-Caddy is an avid nature lover and the author of seven novels. Her first novel in The Wild Place Adventure Series, Howl, was nominated for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award. She lives on Georgian Bay in Ontario.