I have been wanting to use the paddle boat to go out on the lake alone in the morning with the loon. This morning I dared it. I donned a life preserver that Bernie later told me was for a child, cleared the spider’s hard work away, unleashed the boat from the dock and launched. I won’t go out very far this first time, I decided. I thought to find a spot more risky than the end of the dock where I could surrender more properly in my morning meditation.
I found as I went that I couldn’t get the darned thing to go forward in the direction of my choice and I thought perhaps paddle boat driving takes a special skill that only ten year olds can achieve. As I fuddled, I found that when I reversed the circle my feet were making, I was able to go backward at a little faster clip and in the direction I chose. But then the handle that controlled the rudder stuck. I called Bernie on my cell phone though he had left me on the dock only ten minutes ago. He said that he and Jerry would be there soon to rescue me.
As I waited, I tried to coordinate my backward pedaling with the direction of the current that the breeze was making on the surface of the water. Gratefully, it was pushing me toward the shore rather than away. By the time my knights arrived, I was almost back to the dock. Jerry told me to give the handle a good hard pull and when I did it became unstuck. Then he instructed me to pull up to the dock where he could grab the mooring rope and get me situated along the on the edge of the dock.
I told him how the rudder refused to perform for me when I paddled forward and he explained that the rudder is broken and only half is there. It works, he said, but needs repairing to do the job well. I think I will wait until the paddle boat has a full rudder before venturing out again.
I guess that is the story of my life – launching out with half a rudder. Someone will have to come to rescue me…humiliating.