After a night with a full moon and a starry sky, there is ice on the garden’s water barrel. It only stays for a few hours before sun and plus temperatures chase it away, but the message is clear, summer is over. Grimer times lie ahead.

I paddle north along a small forest river in the area where I live. Enjoying the silence. There has been at least one kayak trip per month over the past year. A goal that has succeeded despite the winter’s cold, has always managed to find open water somewhere in the landscape.

Strong gusts of wind whip the trees and I end up in a cloud of falling leaves. It is in a hurry now if you want to experience the splendor of color. A few windy days can clear the deciduous forest so that only the bare branchwork remains. Then it gets dark and gloomy until the snow arrives and lights up the landscape.

I continue along a smaller river that joins from the northeast. Feel the scent of rotting leaves and of cattle in a pasture above the riverbank. There are not many farms left in the valley and only a few have livestock.

Love the stillness you experience in a kayak. Enjoying the migration of birds heading south high above me and the small family of long-tailed tit, that chirping softly as they move along the riparian forest. When it’s time to turn around, I stop paddling, go with the flow, take it easy. “rivers know there is no rush. In time we will arrive” as Winnie the Pooh so wisely says!