Sunday, June 6, 2010


I got Asherel a kayak anchor for her 13th birthday. She got other more exciting gifts, but the anchor was long awaited. We both had visions of kayaking to a lovely deep bay area, dropping anchor, and feasting on beauty and lunch from our bobbing perch.

Yesterday, we had a couple of brief hours we could hurry off to the Catawba river and try out the new anchor. We brought Honeybun and kayaked to the popular swimming sandbar. In actuality, despite the poor grammar that would indicate the sandbar swims, the people who dock at the sandbar swim. The sandbar just lounges in the sun. But on this occasion, the sandbar was completely submerged. The water was only about 3 inches deep and many people were docked there, pushing their kayaks into the nearby reeds. This meant that should there be any snakes around, they would go for the people near the reeds, and in all likelihood, they would instead look for calmer waters. So we felt this would be a good place to drop anchor.

"Anchors away!" I bellowed and tossed my anchor overboard, into the murky 3 inch depths. The wind and current immediately began pulling my boat along, dragging the ineffectual little anchor behind. I had thought the anchor seemed small and light, but the salesman had assured me it would tether a kayak. I may not have shouted the proper seaman words.
"Drop Anchor!" I called out and tossed the anchor a little more forcefully. It gurgled as it settled to the sandy bottom a toe depth down, and then bobbed merrily behind the drifting kayak.

Meanwhile, Asherel had found a piece of fishing line and tied her kayak with it to a reed. While I was heaving anchors right and left, and shouting various permutations of "Hold the boat still!!!!", she took Honeybun out of the boat and the two of them went swimming in the deep water off the sandbar. Her boat held fast to an invisible fishing line, while I came perilously close to swearing as my steel and heavy rope anchor floated behind me, pushed by the wind.

Finally, I dug a hole in the sand and buried my anchor. That held the boat as long as no motorboats with large wakes skimmed nearby.

I kept watching Asherel's boat, tied to a thin reed with a silken thread of invisible fishing line, waiting for it to snap, and for the kayak to disappear down river. But it held for the entire 2 hours we were there.

I guess sometimes what anchors us doesn't seem to make sense. There seem to be so many strong anchors - money, health, beauty, youth, credit cards..... but all those things ultimately fail to uphold us in the currents and turmoils of life. Sometimes the strongest anchor is invisible, and as ethereal as prayer, as impalpable as faith. It really makes no sense to trust in something we cannot see, but I can't see gravity either, and still it glues me to earth.

Tomorrow I am getting my money back on the kayak anchor and buying a spool of fishing line.

2 Kings 18:6
He held fast to the LORD and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses.

1 comment: