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My folks have a cabin on a lake up north and family vacations often find up to a dozen of us in what is essentially a two bedroom house. Fortunately, a sense of humor, day trips and festivals, and happy hour keep us sanely together. It is often the day when I can take my kayak out on the lake solo that I find the most refreshing of vacation days.

Afloat on the lake, I feel the ridges of water lap against the kayak with only the sound of the paddle dipping into water and my own breath. Sitting at the water level, I get the loon’s perspective, with distant fishing boats humming across the lake. Every breath of breeze moves the kayak gently. On a day when the water is like glass, it feels like time has slowed down, almost as though you could touch eternity. Those kayak rides afloat still water rejuvenate me, and buoy me for the bustle of cabin life and the return to normal life, lingering in my breath long after vacation ends.