The River called me, to come and enjoy the first scents of Spring, to breathe her fresh air and meditate on her banks. All Winter, she has lain quietly, covered in a shelter of snow and ice. But now, as the sun climbs higher in the sky each day as it approaches the Spring Solstice, she begins to cast off her covering, and raise her voice in song, to celebrate the rebirth of the Creation, of which she knows she is an integral part. Sluggishly at first as she drowsily awakens, she begins to murmer as one who is trying to remember the words to a song, dreamily as she awkens, her soft voice muffled by snow and ice. Freeing herself of this encumbrance, her voice rises in crescendo, louder as she melts away her bindings, joyfully now as she casts off her covering and awakens once again as she always has. As the ice and snow are washed away, new voices join in, the higher notes as smaller droplets splash on the rock, the baritone sound of the rush of water coursing through the undercuts of bank and ice. Many voices are heard as one listens carefully, all blending in a harmony speaking of ancient times and wisdom. As I sit on the bank, I watch how the water approaches an obstacle without worry or impedance, the obstacle only adds to the voice of her song, full of joy, and as I sit there watching and listening, she gently cleanses and refreshes me as well, washing away cares and worrys, and filling me with the joy of her song.
The rushing of the water lulls my senses, and my mind goes back to other days, spent in leisure prowling these same waters, fly rod in hand, watching for the tell tale bubbles of a feeding trout. In the deep pools, I look for the shadow of a fat trout dashing from the undercut bank, to seize a tender morsel and return to it’s hiding place, opportunistically waiting for a free meal to come along, or the golden flash of it’s belly as it catches a nymph rising to the surface,twisting,turning, swirling through the water.
As I pass by these pools, I remember certain trout, and how they came eagerly and willingly to a carefully presented artificial, fooled by feather and fur, darting up so quickly as to almost take one by surprise, instinctively reacting and feeling the gratifying tug as the hook is set. Fish on!! As the rod is bent and the tug of war goes on, I feel alive, jubilant, and though these fish are not trophies as such, it always gets my heart beating a little faster, and time stands still for a few moments as the encounter plays out. Soon the fish is either lost or brought to hand, and I marvel at the beauty, a fine fish, full of life and marvelously colored, spots with rainbow hues, soft and slick as it is admired and then gently released.
Some might not understand, but I stop to enjoy the moment, pack my pipe, touch a match to it, and sit for a while on the bank, savoring the smells of the stream, enjoying the pungent aroma of the fresh moss and the piney scent from the overhanging hemlock boughs.
It has been a good day, and now, I will leave this place for a while, but soon I will return.