Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Was Face to Face...

...with one of my biggest fears today, because today Daniel and I took a kayaking lesson! We live on the water here in Savannah and it is Daniel's big wish to kayak more often in our estuaries. We've kayaked before, but never really learned all there is to know in order to be safe on our own.

And as you all know, I am generally pretty cautious, but that's nothing compared to my fear of falling into and being under water. Now, mind you, I am not a bad swimmer, but there's something about finding myself suddenly under water, maybe losing my bearings that has me quite scared. So, reluctantly I agreed to kayaking lessons with Nigel at Savannah Canoe and Kayak, who was just wonderful!
One of the first things we had to do, after learning about the kayaks and how to paddle, was capsize and get out of the kayak - my biggest fear! I mean BIG! I was assured that nothing could happen and finally, with my agreement, Nigel helped me capsize in three feet of water. It was disorienting, I got some saltwater up my nose, it suddenly reminded me of a childhood memory of being overpowered by a huge wave and my dad hanging on to me for dear life, but I bopped up immediately, thanks to the life vest, and - after some coughing and sputtering - all was well!
After that, everything else seemed comparatively easy - well, except maybe the rescue operations, standing up in the kayak and turning around in it so we were sitting backwards. All of those things were designed to help us get used to the feeling of being in the boat and also to make sure we can get back in should we fall out. And we did all of them!

Aside from the exercises, we paddled across the Bull River from Tybee Island to Little Tybee Island into the marsh there - it was stunningly beautiful and the feeling of sitting right on the water was amazing! At one point Daniel said: "Dolphins!" and when I turned around there were four dolphins right by my kayak. It doesn't get much better than that!

Needless to say, aside from being under water, I loved it! We didn't take a camera because we knew we'd get very wet, so all the pictures you see above were taken three years ago when we did a fantastic kayaking trip to Little Tybee Island with my cousin, her friend, and Nigel (he's in the sleek black kayak).
Now a couple of other photos I wanted to share. Remember the day my egret print sold? On my walk with Winslow that morning, we saw this beautiful egret posing for us at the neighborhood pond!
And a couple of flowers still blooming in our yard. Fall is not quite here yet, but we are hopeful!
And finally tonight, when I let Winslow out, we had two little opossums visiting our flower box! Winslow was very intrigued, but left them alone after a while.
Today was a momentous day for me. I've been thinking a lot about deep seated fears that are out of proportion with what is actually happening. And this is my big one! Every day, I strive to live a more fearless life and approach everything from a feeling of love and curiosity, but sometimes it's harder than others!

I know I'll probably never throw myself into the water with total abandon like Daniel does (he actually likes it), but I am hoping that I will gradually learn that there's nothing to be afraid of.

I guess my hope is that I will learn to be comfortable with the thought of capsizing, knowing that I know everything I need to in order to be safe and get back into the boat, and that I'll be free to completely enjoy the gorgeous scenery we have here, sharing those moments with Daniel, and observing the birds, fish, and dolphins to my heart's content.

Have you had to overcome any big fears? And if so, how did you do it? I'd be interested in hearing about it!

P.S. Just because I haven't said it lately, I love all the comments you leave on my posts! They make me smile and warm my heart! Thank you!!

P.P.S. I am working on a new painting and hope to have something to show you really soon!


  1. I'm so proud of you! How wonderful that you are trying so many new things, even if they have frightened you in the past. I know I could never kayak, since I have a terrible fear of water, too. (I've never learned to swim.) It seems even the dolphins were happy for you, since they dropped by to say hello while you were in the water.

  2. Good for you Silke! One of the things on my lifes to do list is to go kayaking, it looks like so much fun.

    "Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is." - German Proverb

  3. you are so brave for stepping outside your comfort zone, not an easy thing. It often opens the door to unimagined joys...

  4. Loved the picture of the opossum,it is the only animal timid enough in our back yard for Lilylovekin to bark at. I'm proud of you for being brave enough to try the kayak lesson, the fear will lessen as you do it more.

  5. Kudos to you, my friend! Facing fears of any kind is sooo hard - it takes special bravery to do so!

  6. it's always so satisfying facing a fear and knowing that you can conquer it. good for you woman.

  7. Hi Silke,
    Oh you are brave , and I admire you doing such a thing with your husbond, to make him happy,even your anciety is so big.You are a loving woman.
    It must be wonderfull with Oppossums in the back-yard ,and just looking at this one blogging from you, shoves how many and beautifull nature events you are near to, you live in a fantastic place dear Silke.
    have a great evening,
    hugs, Dorthe

  8. Congratulations. If you go to Hawaii, try kayaking in the ocean. It is really thrilling!

  9. Though I swim very well, I think Because I do and was a life guard, I have an extreme respect for the water and what it can do. You make me proud. Face your fears, listen to your instincts and your life will be full of adventure and good memories. Brava!to you dear friend. Blessings.

  10. two thumbs up to you silke, for facing your fears!! i have an awful fear of flying.....one of these days i'll conquer it though (i wonder if nigel could offer any advice!!) :))

  11. the feeling is mutual Silke regarding comments - you warm my heart!
    good for you for tackling your fears - an inspiration for us all!

  12. Good girl for going for it and putting your fears behind you!!

  13. i truly have to say that though i love the water and can swim well, i too would have been a little nonplussed about upturning my boat
    i haven't faced such a fear in awhile, but little fears a lot as of late as i try to see what is ruling my perceptions and where they come from
    every day, on that level, had been a challenge
    congrats to you - you did good, kid!

  14. You were very brave today! Intentional capsizing? Well done. I don't face my fears too often. Silly, but I used to have arachnophobia and I got over it, speaking in front of a group, tried, still working on it. The list goes on.....
    You have set a good example to live by.

  15. You are a good wife to try the Kayak lesson- I think it looks so fun.

    Love the Opossums in your flowers- so cute. We have Racoons that find their way to our plum trees.

  16. Oh Silke you are so brave! I know just how you feel - I'm really working through my fears & they come & go & I feel I'm getting better, then I have a relapse. The thing is you have to face them - or doesn't it feel a life half lived? You are an inspiration - thank you xxx

  17. Brave girl! It is not the reality one fears, rather the fear itself. I am sure there was absolutely no danger of you drowning but I can well imagine your discomfort at the idea.
    I am constantly having to force myself to walk Benno into dark woods and along empty fields, with not another person in sight for miles; of course, I always imagine that the worst accident will befall me or that some stranger will attack me. Silly ideas, but there you go.
    Still no autumn? poor girl. Love the flowers.

  18. Hey Silke...I have a similar fear...
    I had a near death experience in the Zambezei River in Zimbabwe...we were White Water Rafting...and we tipped...I got stuck in an underwater whirlpool and was very concious about not being able to breath anymore...the life-jacket saved my life...and alnost broke my ribs too...
    My husband scuba dives upto...or down-to 120ft under water...and would LOVE if I would do it with him...
    I am a strong swimmer too...but the fear of being stuck underwater is not something I prefer to experience again.

  19. Brava by the way for conquering your fear!
    Sorry...was supposed to say that in the post above...and I can`t believe you still have GORGEOUS flowers blooming where you are.
    More hugs.

  20. Oh my! I am ever so impressed with you!
    What a mighty woman!

  21. Hi Silke,
    first off all I love your photos.
    And about the fear.
    I don´t know how to say it in English.
    Ich muss mich selber überrumpeln!
    I better have no time to think it over
    I am afraid of height. And last year we were in Turkey at the coast and my boyfriend wanted to do parasiling with me.
    They go really high.
    I just said yes.
    And when it started and went higher and higher the panic grew.
    This was the point when I had to make a decision (Fortuntly my brain did not stop working)I decided to enjoy it.
    It was a tightrope walk between the one of the worst and one of the best expirience of my life.
    It became one of the best.
    It became