Flowers and cancer survivor dragon boat paddling.
We had garden flowers attached to the drum and tail today, lavender, roses and hydrangea. The fragrance was lovely as we paddled along we even had a couple of bees joining us for the ride along Windermere.
The Tradition of having flowers in the boat some of you may know and some may not. It is always good to remember the traditions started by our founder members and of course our paddling sisters and brothers across the water where dragon boat paddling for breast cancer survivors was created by our wonderful Dr. Don out of his research following surgery and treatments.
Abreast in a Boat dragon boat team in Vancouver Canada over 20 years ago started this beautiful tradition when a member of their team took a fuchsia pink flower from her garden for each paddler to wear in their headbands in support of paddlers too unwell to paddle with them that day. At the end of their paddle they tossed their flowers into the water as a salute to those ladies not with them and there The Flower Ceremony was born. It is now an international tradition at the end of dragon boat festivals and also a tradition individual teams embrace. Whilst this is a very emotional ceremony this tradition gives us all a moment to remember and honour those women and men who have passed away from breast cancer and other cancers. For us at Paddlers For Life it is can also be a time to remember those we know within our group who are still going through treatments.
We salute you wonderful ladies and one of our PfL sayings is “You will always be in our boat with us.” Your names on the plaques in our beautiful pink boat Artemis Phyllis, will always be there for all to see and remember the smiles, laughter and fantastic memories we made together.
We are so lucky to paddle here on beautiful Lake Windermere we had our very own warrior helm Roz looking after us well today on such a busy lake and it was lovely to have Steph keeping us all in check on the drumand Jane taking our pics from the safety boat with Simon.