A Good Canoe

by Trevor Walker

Many things pass through our lives as we are busy living them. I once heard that there are three kinds of people that visit us on our life journey- those that visit us for a season, a reason or a lifetime. Perhaps the same can be said for some objects we own during our lives. Some are just there for a season, like the expensive lures I lost on my last canoe trip. They were pretty nice, but alas, had iron constitutions and the strength of legion, breaking my line and finding freedom on the lakes rocky bottom. They were in my possession far less than a season, but at current prices it will likely be a full season before they are replaced, if ever. 

Something passing through our lives for a reason is a different story. I’m not talking about the flying bottle of hand cream when I announce I’m bringing my pack-rod on our anniversary weekend get-away “just in case”, no, that’s in a different category altogether, that goes in the ‘I’m an idiot’ category. What I’m referring to is more like the level-wind reel I bought without really knowing why at the time. Sure it was a great deal and all, but to be honest, buying that reel was all just a blur…I can barely even remember being in the tackle shop. I was on auto-pilot then, but now, let me tell you… I don’t know how I ever trolled for spring lakers without it! So you see, the reason that level-wind reel and I came together was only obvious later in life's journey, but now its reason is glaring… its serendipity.

What about something in our lives ‘for a lifetime’? It has to be pretty special if you’re willing to lug it around with you through out your life. One example is my collection of about two thousand hunting and fishing magazines. It’s more of a love/hate relationship, really, me and those books. While they do represent my whole library of home schooling literature, from the time I was about 9 years old onward, they also weigh an absolute ton, and moving them around borders on utter lunacy! Maybe that one goes under the category- ‘you might be a pack-rat if…’ A far better example is my canoe. She may not be a great canoe, but she’s a good canoe. Just under sixteen feet long, she’s a svelte kevlar beauty, but don’t let her good looks fool you, she’s an absolute work horse! I found her at a canoe sale in Algonquin park and I could tell right away that she hadn’t had an easy life, she was scratched and bruised and her paint was fading. She had several patches and a couple of small leaks in her hull, but there was something about her, something special. She had a gleam in her gunnels, and caught my eye when I was looking over the canoes for sale. The young man looking after the sale said I could take her out for a little spin if I wanted, so off we went. She had a jump that surprised me, and at only forty six pounds, she was agile and quick on her keel, jumping to the paddles command, always ready. I told the young guy that we were leaving on a trip to the parks interior that day. I wanted to test her for the week, and then, if she didn’t make the cut I could exchange her. He said “no problem…dude” and gave me a written receipt. The rest is history, as they say. We’ve been on many adventures since that test drive, with many more to come. She could use a new paint job, and I have my eye on a nice contoured yoke for her, but there’s no rush, we have lots of time together. Indeed, a lifetime.

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