Full Moon Paddle: Lake Wingra

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Like doing crossword puzzles or sudoku, we need to take a different path to help our minds to work better.

If you spend your life in your car, then walking and riding a bicycle is different.

If you live in a very warm climate, then it is time to go ice-fishing.

If you have lived a city life for many years -then it is time for a Full Moon Paddle.

On Lake Wingra in Madison, Wisconsin, you only get to have this treat four times per year, five if you are lucky.

Spring in Wisconsin can be quite cold, chilly, capricious. Opening up your boathouse when the ice is still on the grotto: a difficult thing.
But once it is warm, there is no greater heaven on earth than a Full Moon Paddle.

Tonight I had the privilege of such a gift. Although the leaves are already changing color and the wind chill and brisk, it was the last Paddle of the season.

We went down to Wingra Park where we were greeted by a warm and lovely firepit, brownies, hot cocoa, tea and a gorgeous bank of blue clouds painting a darkening pink sky. And the breeze, the breeze. The lake smelled like fresh and June mornings and childhood and midlife and remembrance. It welcomed us, as did our hosts.

Given the choice of kayaks and canoes, we chose three canoes – there were seven of us. After the long discussion on who was Bow and who was Stern aka “Who is the control freak and who is the power paddler?,” we got into our canoes.

For an hour and a half, we floated, we glided; we listened to the wind, to the fishes last splashes, to the bats overhead…to the sweet musical hush of the paddle sliding through the water and the drip, drip as it floats above the surface for a brief second before it descends again.

Our canoes came together. We giggled, held onto each other and then we let go and went our separate ways. We explored in the darkness.

Our minds cleared. Forgotten were the electrical problems, the family worries, the approaching cold weather. All we felt, all we saw was the wind, the water, the moon and the peace.

My biggest regret is that this was the last Full Moon Paddle of the season. My biggest sadness is that I have to wait until June to do this again.

This is the best thing I have done in years.


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4 thoughts on “Full Moon Paddle: Lake Wingra”

  1. What a beautiful night!! I love canoeing and in the moonlight is the very best. I haven’t done it for years, but just reading your story makes me smile and remember that gorgeous night on a Michigan lake so long ago. 🙂 Thank you!

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