I am a novice rower. Despite my three years on the water, I do not feel comfortable claiming more than that. My journey began in a "learn-to-row" class in a shell, a 60 foot long boat rowed by 8 people using 13 foot long oars. When it became apparent that no one else shared my enthusiasm for watching ducks, geese and swans, I realized I should be rowing a single scull. There is grace in watching a scull slip through water - it embodies the Taoist concept of "wu wei" or "effortless doing". My learning how to row was anything but, however, and even now as the rhythm of the movement has become more natural and as I can close my eyes and feel how the oars stabilize the boat in the water and my feet propel it - I still marvel at those around me for whom rowing is the most natural of actions. They have released conscious control to the boat and the boat responds. On a personal level, rowing for me is a form of meditation, of contemplation and of letting go. I hope, through these images, to share some of the joy of this experience - the beauty of the early morning or late afternoon light and the feelings of peace that being on calm water can bring.
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