The family needed to make travel plans but we wanted to have the best weather possible. All week long the forecasts were checked on a variety of weather sites. The prevailing projection was partly cloudy, 30% chance of rain and light winds. Acceptable but not the ideal conditions we hoped for so plans were made to give it a go anyway. Saturday ended with family in town but the weather very much as predicted and the anticipation of a less than ideal day loomed in our minds that evening. There should have been no worrying based on the positive believer our Diana was - Sunday dawned clear, blue skies, just the right temperature and a cool breeze with perfect water conditions. We timed the launch an hour before the full high tide, which was scheduled to be at 8 feet, perfect for accessing the middle areas of the marsh around Turner's Creek.
The launch was made from the docks with Diana's two sons, my son-in-law and myself in the kayaks with the rest of the family lining the outer dock platform for viewing. Turner's Creek meanders a bit as most low country creeks do and I headed out to try a point of access I'd scoped out ahead of time. It was a narrow inlet that wound it's way into the center of the marsh and I thought it would connect but 3/4 of the way in, we hit some high marsh and could go no further. The tide was still coming in and we could have eventually gotten through but there were lots of other access points we wouldn't have to wait on. It was challenging to back 4 kayaks out of the narrow inlet but once back on deep waters we proceeded down the creek to an area completely in flood stage and an easy paddle to the center of the marsh.
I serenely paddled through the grasses in the mirror like waters of the protected high marsh, looking for the perfect spot to release her ashes and offer a clear view for those on the docks. The timing of the tides was perfect and I stopped directly across from the docks and in a an area Diana would admire daily from her top floor vantage point of the townhouse.. I backed my kayak into an area of Spartina grass and anchored with my paddle deep into the pluff mud, signaling the others that this was the place. The others gathered around, anchoring their kayak paddles into the mud. After an opening prayer by my son-in-law (who also performed our marriage ceremony two years earlier), each of us released a portion of her ashes along with words of love and farewell. We followed up her ashes with colorful flowers that she loved. At the same time, the family on the docks released their portions of her ashes and flowers, each having their own personal moment with our beloved Diana.
I returned to the dock area first and was greeted by several family and friends who were excited about seeing us on the water and the closeness to nature the kayaks provided. Diana's best friend, who we had tried to entice into kayaking with us on several occasions, decided to give it a try. After some tentative paddle strokes to get a feel of the boat in the water, she paddled out to meet up with the others. Soon there were several members of the group wanting to give kayaking a try. Everyone that spent a little time on the water that day are now anxious to get out and do it again.
Special thanks to my son-in-law for his excellent photographs of the event.
We were excited the day turned out so well with the weather and water conditions. I was worried the weather wouldn't cooperate but now know Diana was right there, ensuring everything turned out the way we planned it. We miss you Diana but know that whenever we see water in its natural state, we're reminded of the joy of life you shared with all of us.