by Judi Vitale, Volunteer Trip Leader
Untitled 1It was cold for a June night, maybe 65 degrees or so at sundown. But hey – it’s strawberry season, and this kind of cool air only serves to make those juicy red orbs stay fresh and firm for a little while longer. A layer of fog can be good for the berries, and there is absolutely no doubt that a trip out on the water under the full moon is the perfect way to nurture the soul.  Given the options of staying young and soothin g my spirit, I had no problem donning an extra layer of waterproof clothing and coming out to assist Trip Leader Mary Lynn Marsico for VO’s Strawberry Moon Float at North Park Lake. I knew I would be in for a treat.
The full moon is a time of ripening and culmination. The eerie light this celestial body radiates onto our planet offers the opportunity to reflect on what we really want from life, and maybe to begin to figure out how to get it. Everybody gets a little bit tense around the full moon. They say it’s because so much of the human Untitled 2body is comprised of water. So, what better way could there be to celebrate the full moon (and disarm all that tension) than by going out into the water, becoming one with it by ever so gently paddling a kayak across a lake that invited us to glide along its glass-like surface? I can’t think of one.
No other humans were to be seen,  except those of us who were lucky enough to have taken this little trip. It was so quiet, we could hear each little splash our paddles made in the water, and so could the local birds. Egrets, geese and one rather large blue heron bid us hello. They didn’t seem to mind sharing the lake with us at all! The moon rose large, with a rainbow-colored halo around it; and as it climbed up higher in the sky, we passed to the water’s far shore, taking in the great information Mary Lynn shared about the lake, its history and the fish habitat that had been set up by the little island.
You might think it’s more exciting and interesting to pilot your kayak during the day, but if you haven’t taken a night paddle with Venture Outdoors, you’re missing something fabulous!  There will be more floats on the lake, paddles on the river and fireworks nights than you can count as summer marches on.  And remember, whether it’s slightly chilly or way too hot, being on the water changes everything.
As we came back to shore, with our worries and tensions toned down several notches, we wandered back to the boathouse where Lora had left us a gastronomic treat – a gorgeous cake – with strawberries and cream on top.  What a delicious evening!  Hope you’ll join us this summer for the magic and wonder of paddling a kayak at night. Venture Outdoors is putting together one huge treat of a schedule – so there will be lots more to come.