Monday, March 12, 2018

Employee of the Year

I had reached Foote Bridge and was just about to start writing when I spotted a white V-shaped object on the bottom of the water.  As I fished it out with the tip of my paddle, two women walked onto the bridge and asked me, "what are you researching?"  Interesting that something in my bearing should cause the word, research, to come up.  It was animal bone, likely deer.  Secured in the boat, I had a delightful conversation with the women.

I started by the sea and came up river with a minor wind out of the north or east.  Nothing of note, meaning it was a perfectly fine trip, happened until I got to the bottom of the Big Bends where an immature Bald Eagle was flying circles.
For me, it takes 2 or 3 days traveling solo before I get comfortable with myself.  It takes about a week to fully bed into the experience.  Seven days is when everything is "now"... the things coming in the future will be handled then, the things in the past have been passed.  But thoughts of work intrude...I know that paddling will make it dissipate.  My boss sent me an email, "why haven't you contacted this customer? I asked you to do it a week ago."  Actually, he told me to do it a week ago, which is different.  But, a question is lets me use my creativity. His problem is an opportunity for me.  Possible answers bubble to the surface:
1.  Because I suck at my job.  (I reserve the right to use this later, for the most part it isn't true)
2. Until I can figure out how to use the company spam filter, I am using my own analog spam filter. (this is true, I am ignoring him)
3. I knew it would piss you off. (which is true)
4. I had more important things to do. (which is true, but it is never heard when said out loud, so why bother)

I return to something I do best...I begin paddling back down river.  I am Employee of the Year at canoeing.  The wind is in my face through much of the upper marsh.  It is stiff, but I have a mile an hour of ebb current in my favor, so the canoe continues along at something less than walking pace.  It makes no difference to the canoeing Employee of the Year.

Above the arch bridge I enter the Connecticut hardwood forest.  The marsh is completely snow-trodden, the forest, even in winter bareness, is dramatic.  It is a welcoming place.
I turned back from the bridge when the conversation with the two women ended.
This time at the Big Bends there was no Eagle.  However, I spotted a grey Loon several hundred yards off...A Red Throated Loon.  They pass through here in early spring.  It is smaller than the Common Loon, but equally beautiful.  It dives...I wait and watch.  It surfaces and dives again.  It will evade me by swimming.  I wait and watch.  Nothing.  I round the bend and find it several hundred yards downstream.  It probably had to breath only once to make that distance.  As I approach, it dives.  It surfaces near me, but only for a moment.  It dives.  It comes up a couple hundred yards upstream of me, returning to where I first saw it.

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