Other than the obvious absence of anglers, yours truly in particular, what is wrong with this picture? A quiet, gray, drizzly day, emerging insects and rising trout going about their business as they always have and (hopefully) always will; nothing at all wrong with that.
The third weekend of the season is here and laughter spills from the camps at night, mingling with the calls of the loons cutting through the thick evening air. Mornings, brimming with promise and the golden light of dawn are quiet and it truly is possible to find solitude without loneliness.
Time alone on the water, contemplating the ways of belly buttons and trout, is precious but so is time with friends old and new. From far and away or from just down the road they gather and a rainy afternoon becomes occasion for a feast.
Spring has returned and if I pretend the blackflies don’t bother me as they swarm my eyes, crawl up my nose and chew my scalp along the hairline, it’s kind of nice around here.
A man recently approached me, saying he had bad news. When I asked what the bad news was he said, “Geese. But wait, it gets worse! They’ve got babies!”
He told me I’d better do something right quick before they got out of hand and ruined the place, like they had at the country club where he plays golf, and he didn’t seem too happy when I told him I didn’t think there were enough geese around to get all bent out of shape about. I assured him I would keep an eye on them and act accordingly, which I will, but it wasn’t that long ago I watched as one pair took turns on the nest through a three-day snow storm.
That snow seems a distant memory now but this pair of geese made it through and the babies that man was worried about have made their first trek from the swamp to the open lake. I will never understand how someone can go on and on about “getting away from it all” and then get upset when they see wildlife.
People like that man are fortunately few and far between. Most folks are just happy to be here, at a place where rising trout nip at the heels of emerging mayflies drifting like faeries into the dusky eve; a place where loons still sound their ancient call and the night sounds are frogs, not sirens; a place where one can feel a part of something larger than themselves, dwarfed beneath a massive, starry sky; a place where lessons are learned through stillness, absorbed instead of forced.
Such places are not necessarily so far away.