Life-vest Lessons From A Loon

I am a loon. That is the conclusion I came to while kayaking on the lake where our friends have their cottage. We have been going up there for 10 years. It is a beautiful lake. Even better friends.

I went out in the kayak one morning and came upon a loon swimming near the shore. I made very slight strokes with the paddle to get ever closer to this elusive bird. I did manage to get close enough to see the red colour in his eyes. He then slowly dipped his head into the water and disappeared into the lake.

That was the closest I ever got to a loon.

Other occasions they would dive and disappear at greater distances. But this time, before he dove he took a long look in my direction. It almost seemed like he was enticing me to follow him. Although I marveled at him, he was likely amused at this large red and pink creature whose large yellow fins dipped in the water. I obliged and tried as best I could.

Although they sing a loud and beautiful song at night, loons are among the introverts of the avian world. Legend states there is only one pair living on any given lake. The loon seems happy and content to live in relative privacy and solitude. I can relate to that. I am like a loon that way.

I tried following him as he dove under the water several times only to reappear farther away. It wasn’t until the third time he disappeared that I noticed behind me was his mate, the second of the pair back where we first met. I smiled. He was drawing me away from her. He was protecting her from a potential predator, if not at least sparing her from looking upon this odd, floating monster.

Life lesson: It is good to not be alone.

You just never know what’s floating around out there. A wave of appreciation hit me as the two loons met up and continued on together, increasing their distance from me. I was grateful for two reasons.

First for my wife, the life mate that God gave to me some 17 years ago. The loon exemplified the basics of Husbandry 101: watch out for her, protect her, and swim beside her. I felt like this little bird showed me up that day. I don’t always cover the basics. Those times, I do not deserve to be called a loon. And I committed to be better.

It also makes me appreciate the One who the Bible says “sticks closer than a brother”. If you read the Psalms you’ll find that God promises to watch out for us, protect us and swim beside us on the sea of life. You just never know what’s floating up ahead. Whether we have found our life mate or not, the Lord promises is that He will always be there,

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)

Small caveat; the more intimate the relationship, the more faithfulness is required. Our relationship with God is no different. Again, I committed to be better. It is well worth the commitment knowing that none of us have to be alone in this life. The loons seemed perfectly content. The lake is a fairly large one, and if what they say about loons is true, they will canvas the span of it together before the end.

I left them alone and made my way back to the cottage with my object lesson for the day. And now it seems painfully fitting to end this thought with lyrics from the recent Muppet movie, a song we heard about a hundred times at the campfire,

“Life’s a happy song, when there’s someone by your side to sing along”