Paddling the Swattie – A Cocoa Kayak Adventure

Monday night’s storms made for some higher waters on the Swatara (Swattie) and Quitapahilla (Quittie) Creeks this past week. Logically, we wanted toKayaking Swatara Creek paddle. The owners of Cocoa Kayak, Deb and Ben Miller were planning to go play, and since water has been such an integral part of my recovery from rat lungworm, John and I happily tagged along.

Hands down, we got THE BEST bird watching show we’ve gotten since being back in central Pennsylvania!  Not only did we see a mature and a juvenile bald eagle, but also a ton of great blue herons, red tail hawks, sand pipers, swallows, and robins. On top of that fish splashed about while the sun stayed high in the sky.

It was a brilliant day to be on the water. We couldn’t stop gushing about the views and perfection of the afternoon!

We burned some time and paddled upstream on the Quittie until we were tired enough to rest in an eddy and take some pictures before turning around to paddle further down the Swattie. It was the essence of peace and serenity coupled with some burning shoulders.

Kayaking Swattie Snack timeWe stopped to have a snack on an island Cocoa Kayak style.

Rice crackers, smoked salmon, avocado, cheese, sausage, and watermelon were the items of choice on the menu, displayed with the most elegance: on top of a kayak, buffet style! 🙂

Kayaking Swatara Hurricane Rita All rights reservedI have to admit, while the food was being set up, I was away taking pictures of the scenery; the water, flowers, and shadows were both enticing and enthralling. I found myself absolutely lost in the beauty of the moment.  I’m alive. I shouldn’t be, but I am.

I defied the odds. Defied my neurologist. Defied the Buddha miracle of a single flowernaysayers. Defied the system. Every single time I get to experience something beautiful, it is a gift, and a fully appreciated one at that. When you truly consider the magnitude of what could have happened…the finality of death…It simply makes sense to appreciate each moment as it is.

A moment I get to experience on this earth.

It is as simple, yet as complicated as understanding the miracle of a single flower. If you could truly grasp how a plant can grow from the dirt under your feet and bloom into something magnificent, you could understand how little the majority of things that anger and stress you can truly be.

I was contemplating this topic when I was beckoned to the kayak buffet to enjoy our abundance of blessings.

Cocoa Kayaks Aurita Maldonado Ben Miller

Once our hands were rinsed, a fun little blue grass tune came through the tiny speaker, and it was obvious what needed to happen. John and I linked hands and suddenly found ourselves dancing like nobody or everybody was watching. One or the other.

Aurita Maldonado John Binger dancing

I love to be with a man that can appreciate and realize a moment for its fullest potential.  We danced. We laughed. We kissed.

Our souls made love while we swayed to the fiddle and moved with the bass as it complemented the rushing water’s steady rhythm perfectly.

Our incredible journey of recovery together all culminated into one beautiful dance of absolute freedom on a strip of dirt protruding from the middle of the creek.

I fell in love again, and again…and again.

The message today is simple: Tomorrow’s not guaranteed. Live today as such.


Who cares if someone is watching?

 Aurita Maldonado John Binger dancing

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2 Responses to Paddling the Swattie – A Cocoa Kayak Adventure

  1. Betsy Dewey July 29, 2013 at 12:34 AM #

    I love you, Rita. I’ve never met you, but you inspire me more than you can possibly imagine. I do know your honey, and I’ve loved him for years! Can’t wait to meet you, inspiration angel. You make me not guilty to live. big huge smiles and love,

    Betsy Dewey

    • Hurricane Rita July 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM #

      Anyone close with Johnny McSuperStokedtoDancetoYourFiddlewithMe is close with me! I’ve heard plenty about you and Phillip, and can’t wait to meet you! Thank you for your beautiful words! Guilt…eh. Such a dirty word…live and guilt shouldn’t share a sentence…EVER!! 😀 Love your website, by the way!

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