Boulder Junction Public Library

Author Mary Anne Smrz

From August 21, 2018 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm
Categories: Special Events
Mary Anne Smrz is an avid kayaker who uses insights gained on the water to enrich her own life and the lives of others. She finds depth and meaning in her life from the solitude of kayaking, hiking and spending time in the restorative sanctuary of the natural world.

As a photojournalist and natural philosopher, Mary Anne shares her thoughts and musings while kayaking, taking others on an insightful inner journey. In her own quest for authenticity, she encourages others to find the same.

A number of years ago, while caught in a cycle of grief, Mary Anne kayaked as much as her hectic lifestyle allowed. Paddling helped her reclaim her balance and serenity. Because of the healing benefits she experienced on the water, Mary Anne wanted to share her paddling insights with others.

She wrote three books, Reflections from the Red Kayak: Thoughts on Life, A Season on the Water: Reflections from the Red Kayak, and her newly published Change: Our Ever-Present Companion. She writes from her home in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin.

She also founded the Red Kayak Institute (RKI) to take others on the water for half-day and full-day retreats. The RKI mission is simple: “Encouraging people facing challenges to reclaim themselves and receive the healing benefits of kayaking. Just add water.” Mary Anne and the staff of the Red Kayak Institute (RKI) ask individuals facing life challenges to leave them on the shore during their retreat time on the water. Paddling in a kayak is a perfect metaphor – the vessel doesn’t have room for excess baggage, only bare essentials.

Few retreaters have kayaked previously. Many approach their first experience with hesitation but begin to relax as they feel the rhythm of the water and the nature surrounding them. By the end of the day, most report a sense of peace, self-discovery and feeling of accomplishment.

Going forward, RKI is changing, too, shifting its focus to retreat opportunities in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. 2018 is the inaugural launch of this new chapter for the institute.
More information about the Red Kayak Institute can be found at their website at

This program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For questions, call the library at 715-385-2050.

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