Walking. A morning walk on a dreary day…

Here we are. Last day of 2022. I crawl out of bed, both knees are throbbing, why?   Doris Lessing: “But you just do not believe that you’re going to be old. People don’t realize how quickly they’re going to be old, either. Time goes very fast.” Truth Doris, truth.

970 consecutive (almost) days on this daybreak walk to Cove Island Park. Like in a row. And it’s a dreary morning. Dreariness lines up with the morning news. Bombing strikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. More civilians dead. More civilians without power. It’s winter. It’s cold.

I walk.

I’m having to work to lift the camera off the shoulder. Blah…spoiled after a run of “money” sunrises this week.

I walk to the tip of the point, and stop to look out over the water. I stare at the bench, think about sitting down, and don’t. Body says yes, Mind refuses to walk over and sit. Will not do it.

A 2-man kayak comes round the corner, the most excitement I’ve seen this morning. I reach for the camera.

“Good morning” the man in the rear shouts. I let go of the camera. I reply in kind.

“What’s the range with your zoom?” he asks in broken english as he and his partner back up the kayak.

I point them to an island way out in the horizon: “I can reach those birds.”

“OK, then. Would you like to get some shots of seals, like many seals?”  He sees my enthusiasm, but I pause hoping that he’s not asking me to crawl into his kayak, right now, with my gear… this all moving too fast.

“Do you have a phone, can you take my number, call me and if you’d like, I’ll take you out to the spot? My name is Mikhail.”

“Mikhail, like Russian Mikhail?”

“Oh, oh, I’m a Russian Jew. I’m totally against the war in Ukraine.”

Bad (insensitive) choice of words on my part, and I try to quickly repair this.

“Здравствуйте, я тоже русский.”  Whatever mild tension existed, evaporated. He asks which part in Russia. I explain Crimea, and later Georgia, the Caucasus’ and Ukraine.

“Call me. I’ll take you out on my kayak and get you some shots of seals. It’s a quiet, amazing little spot.”

I watch them paddle away and walk back to the car. If that were me in the kayak, would I have stopped and reached out?

Emma Wilkins: “I witnessed an extraordinary act of kindness. What if altruism is more common than we think? … Anna’s attitude was remarkable. She went beyond the call of duty and, upon leaving, refused to accept anything but words as thanks. Why do such a thing for virtual strangers? In Anna’s words, why not? And when we witness or hear of a kind act, why not make a phone call, tell a friend? Why not remind ourselves that, for all of the bad that’s in the world and in the news, behind the scenes, in people’s ordinary lives, lie untold stories of extraordinary good.”

And perhaps this, THIS, is the message for me for 2023.

Happy New Year everyone.



  1. Hope “we” get to go!  A lovely opening into the new year, David.  I’m happy for you and us. 



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  2. I don’t see you getting in the kayak! And with your camera, maybe some another day. Say hi to Wally for me, I miss his posts. 🙂


  3. “If that were me in the kayak, would I have stopped and reached out?” That‘s the punchline for me.

    Happy New Year, DK. I’m very grateful to have found your space on the internet this year. May 2023 bring you everything you need, and I can’t wait to see those seal pics 😉


  4. amazing encounter when least expected – the best

    Liked by 1 person

  5. amazing and unexpected encounter – the best


  6. Your ending brought tears to these open eyes…”And perhaps this, THIS, is the message for me for 2023.” “…remind ourselves that, for all of the bad that’s in the world and in the news, behind the scenes, in people’s ordinary lives, lie untold stories of extraordinary good.” I’m so pleased to share that realization with you!
    [and, the body…..I’m constantly working on assuaging my aches and pains…with diet, drinking more water, taking arnica montana–they all help!] Happy Every Day–if we look, we will see….!


  7. Lots of birds, but no seals. You didn’t take him up on his offer?


  8. Love this on so many levels, pal. And for the love of all that’s holy, GO SEE THE SEALS! 😉😍


  9. How beautiful. Happy & Healthy New Year! ⌚🔢🕛🎊


  10. I was stopped by your Russian – where is that in your story? Would you have stopped? Would I have stopped? Yes, I would have stopped…would I have offered to take someone I didn’t know out in my kayak? Probably not, but then I again, I’ve only maneuvered a canoe in my day, and arguably not well. He invited you to glimpse into the beauty of possibility that plays hide and seek in the heart. To find that, on December 31 – yes, what all have said before me – that’s the message. And listen to Lori – go see the seals…


  11. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    New year …. new way!! … “THIS, is the message for me for 2023.
    Happy New Year everyone.”


  12. Sounds like a good intention for the New Year! Be open to whatever shows up… and keep an open mind and heart.


  13. Happy New Year, David. To you and your family.
    Go see the seals!


  14. Oh what a great post for ending this year. I don’t do kayak but as I’m greeting ppl everywhere I probably might have suggested something along that line too. Can’t say though.
    You speak Russian? You sure have a few hidden talents friend Dave!
    Anyway, the offer stands and NOBODY cd refuse a possibility to view seals…. you will make the day of so many of your readers and yourself! Holy Moley. What an offer.
    I trust that you and yours will ease into 2023 with the best and the rest. Me and Hero Husband thank you for the joys and push-for-thinking efforts of this year. We wish you a happy and healthy New Year and I look forward to hearing from you again in the near future.
    Protect Sully”s and Wally’s ears from the firecrackers and drink to everybody’s health.
    Much love from 🇨🇭


  15. I also just read the article on altruism in the Guardian. So well written. I so often agree with Guardian writers, as I did not when I lived in the UK…. change of mind? Don’t know. But they go into so many interesting subjects. Ta for that pointer too!


  16. No, not a bad/insensitive choice of words!

    I’m glad you said that.
    Even more glad you said I’m Russian, in Russian.

    Thank you for sharing your morning encounter. You put a smile on my face.

    Happy New Year, David.


  17. How wonderful! All of it!! Happy new year in 4.5 hrs!


  18. Russians, adventure, travel and mystery! Sounds like the beginning of a great movie or book ha!

    Happy New Year Dave! 🎉🥳🍾🥳🎉
    May we all remember to be open, kind and live fully in 2023💥


  19. Kayak or no kayak, I wish you and your family a most incredible New Year! I hope 2023 is the best one yet, David! Cher xoxoxo


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