Floating With Purpose

Pay attention, there are Metaphors and Life Lessons all around us, even when cruising at 6mph on a canal last renovated in 1918.

I’ve written before that I am very inspired by nature, especially being on or near water, so it’s no surprise that our trip last week on the Erie Canal would be in some way rejuvenating. The canal is man-made, yes, but still we were on water and surrounded by trees and sky much of the way.

Inspiration, ok, but I hadn’t anticipated that the trip would also be magical.


I would think that, in this day and age of instant gratification and non-stop chatter, many people might find that slow of a pace boring, if not painful (BTW, 6mph was the max speed, we very often went slower), but I was so happy just to sit and enjoy the water and watch the trees, birds, and (sometimes) interesting houses along the way. Sure there were also not-so-nice parts, with bridges and cars and noise, but even that was just a change-up on the overall journey.


[ Except for one morning of rain, we had mostly beautiful sunny days with picturesque clouds. ]

On our last day we only traveled for a couple of hours in the early morning, but that short, magical morning on the canal (pictures towards the end of this post) brought to mind a few metaphors/life lessons:

  • Traveling forward slowly is ok. Relax. Small, incremental adjustments in direction will keep you on course.
  • Keep your focus on the beauty and texture along your own path. Life (houses/people/Other/Not You) exists on the other side (of those trees), but that’s their business.
  • You may at some point get stuck moving in circles (literally, stuck waiting in a lock and having to do a 360 degree “donut” so as not to run into the other, larger, boat in there with us) but eventually the path (the lock door) will open and forward momentum will be regained.

A little cheesy, perhaps, but true.

Below are more photos and some inspiration I will cherish. For anyone interested in details, we rented a houseboat with Mid-Lakes Navigation and traveled west from Macedon to Spencerport and back.

Thanks to Captain Mike Mouradian for bringing us along!



[ I drove the boat for all of like 10 minutes the whole week. And by driving I mean keeping it relatively in the middle of the canal. ]


[ The magical bits tended to be at the edges of the days, early morning and evening. ]


[ Taking photos of interesting structures and textures along the way. ]



[ The Galley restaurant in Fairport had a wonderful kitschy interior. This photo feels like an abstract painting. ]


[ Title: 2 birds and 3 clouds. ]


[ As I said, magical mornings and evenings. ]



[ Leaving a lock. The first “test” drive we took was so much fun! But running the locks ourselves (we only had two each way) was a tad stressful. But in a good way 🙂 ]


[ The walls of the locks were old, old concrete, wonderful texture and you could just feel the history eeking out of the surfaces. ]


[ Our last day we left Fairport early to return the boat to Macedon by 9am. The mist on the water and the sunrise made for one of the most memorable 2 hours of my life. Magic. ]




[ Me and Mike in Spencerport. Photo courtesy of Mike Mouradian, our captain for the week. ]


This entry was posted in Creative Life, Inspiration.