Just Be, In a Boat

December 11, 2012

On a remote lake, deep in the famed North Woods of Thoreau country, a family discovers a space and time that’s all too rare in our modern world.

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– Okay, guys, we’re going to walk down this old logging road, which is not a designated trail, but we can make our way in there, and I stashed a canoe in there you’re going to use. A lot of times you see a moose in there. If you don’t see a moose, sometimes you’ll see an osprey or a marsh hawk, or a deer, something pretty cool, so it’s a beautiful area. So that’s where we’re going. You see these white flowers in the water?

– [Steve] Yeah.

– When you paddle by them, make sure you pick one and smell it, it’s the sweetest smelling thing in the north woods. It’s a water lily, northern water lily. So you can paddle up this way, and use these little channels and these little, kind of, logans and what we call bogans up here. You can probably paddle for almost a mile up there. It’s pretty interesting even if you don’t see a moose. But try to be as quiet as you can. ♫ I’m gonna sit right here ♫ Under this tree

– Smell it.

– [Steve] How does it smell?

– It smells sweet. ♫ And just be ♫ Just be ♫ I’m gonna stay in the shade ♫ Here for a while ♫ Right here in the shade ♫ For a while ♫ And if trouble comes to find me ♫ I’ll just lay back and smile

– [Steve] I’ve been looking for a place to take my kids, a place that’s remote and where we can hike and climb mountains and swim in streams and maybe trout fish, where we can just show up with the boat, put it on the beach, and it’s there, waiting, ready, any time we want to go out. A place where the kids can play and swim, and when the wind is just right, they can take the boat out, off somewhere across the horizon that they’ve never been before, and have that uncertain feeling of not knowing exactly where you’re going or what’s going to be there when you get there. ♫ Yeah just listen to the song ♫ On the breeze ♫ Just listen to the song ♫ Singing on the breeze ♫ That’s just the universe ♫ Through the cottonwood leaves

– I love to just come up here and hear the water lapping on the shore. If you’re lucky enough to hear the loons at night. I just love the quiet.

– She caught her first trout, ever.

– I caught my first trout. I didn’t think I wanted to catch fish. I always just kind of went fishing with him, and watched him fish. ♫ I’m gonna sit right here I like it, I might be hooked. ♫ Under this tree ♫ Sit right here ♫ Under this tree ♫ And just be ♫ Just be ♫ Just be ♫ Just be

– [Don] This is an environment where intimacy grows very quickly and people are always relaxed. They’re their best selves at a place like this. It’s a quiet place, and quiet is something that’s getting hard to find.

– [Steve] So we found our place, and it’s always amazing to me how great a small boat is at bringing us close to the natural world. Perhaps the best thing about boats is the way they bring us close together with the people we love, and keep us right in the moment to just be.


21 Responses So Far to “Just Be, In a Boat”:

  1. Avatar Stewart Simpkins says:

    Virtually all the pleasing things I like in a video is in this one.
    Thank you, again,
    Stewart Simpkins

  2. Avatar Steven Sweeney says:

    I built the 7-7″ back in the 80s, and it’s still a keeper and always gets lots of attention on Minnesota inland waters.

  3. Lake waves, the loon, the scent of the norther water lily, the wind in song… “universe through cottonwood leaves.” Thanks for the virtual get away to Maine, Steve. And, for being such a beyond-adjectives dad.

  4. Avatar Ed Altonji says:

    You guys at OCH have done what so many other very good publications and videographers have not been able to do. You’ve found the right very simple path to our commonality, the art of the simple that brings us peace in a very complex world. “Thank you” isn’t enough, but you already know how much we appreciate this.

  5. Avatar steve johnson says:

    What a gem .. what truth,what a location. Speaking of which,is the spot top secret ?
    And.. I’m a new fan of Walt Wilkins thanks to OCH . Will add if you too find his music and style just right, you might do yourself a favor to search for the music of John Smith… loads on Utube free to listen in . Fine guy,music from the heart .

    • Avatar Ahoi Mench says:

      Seems like you folks get lots of accolades and so although I’ve seen a bunch of your videos I haven’t said anything. My Maggie said it best when I mentioned the music which seems always to accompany the videos, agreeing the music is wonderful, “It doesn’t matter whether its about boats or plants, all of the topics are timely and thoughtfully done. They have a very good crew.” I have been the caretaker for a 38M2 Klasse Spidsgatter named Pia for 26 years. It’s time to find another caretaker. I told Maggie, “I started out in small boats and I will go out in them.”

  6. Avatar George Weinbrenner says:

    The music fits the spell of the lake. So calming .

  7. Avatar Jon Arcuni says:

    Fabulous video. What can be better. I am so glad I discovered this site and became a member.

  8. Avatar John Sheen says:

    Wonderful. I want to be young again.

  9. Avatar John Gallagher says:

    Isn’t this what boating is all about?

  10. Avatar Ken Rezendes says:

    beautiful ! more young people should be spending time like this. what is the name of the song and vocalist?

  11. Avatar David Richey says:

    Beautiful! I love the simplicity of it all. Currently building my first boat and at 18ft it will be a camp cruising machine. Thank you for these videos. Keep up the good work.

  12. Avatar Harvey Kerstein says:

    Simply lovely !

  13. Avatar Bill Bouldin says:

    Pretty. Thanks.

    • Avatar John Bouton says:

      That video will be hard to top! It was lovely to see a sense of wonder emerge from every soul there — what a respite from our busy world, enhanced by small boats, some gunkholing, and unfamiliar horizons. Kudos to the team!

  14. Avatar Alison Langley says:

    Nice one Steve. Important message delivered so sweetly and with such great imagery.

  15. Avatar Anne Bray says:

    Great video, Steve. I’ve watched so many times and find something new to like each time.

  16. Avatar Carolyn & Ron Pease says:

    My wife and I have a beautiful camp in Friendship maine and have spent 40 summers there. I have also camped all over northern maine in a tent. What a wonderful story you have done to combine them both. Good going…your combining them both is GREAT. keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Avatar William Boulden says:

    It’s humbling to see and hear parents teaching their children about what can be seen, heard and experienced by just being quiet. There is room in a simple life for joy.

  18. Avatar Larry Cheek says:

    This is a beautiful production, an ode to the virtues of simplicity. Thanks, Steve and all others involved in its production.

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