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Fishing Solitaire

Fishing is a solitary thing.
At least for me.
Over the years, I cherish
most those solitary hours.

 IMG_0743

I recently had a few hours
alone on a small stream
meandering through
a mountain meadow.
The setting was almost
beyond description.
A high meadow,
set part by itself.
Fishing was slow.
The wind was difficult.
The ground was boggy.
It was wonderful.

One is totally mindful
at such a time.
Every second —
every movement counts.
The sun. The wind.
The current. The shadows.
The sky. The grass.
The fish. The strike.
In my deep concentration,
with only a few rising fish,
I heard an odd sound.
Was I not alone?

 IMG_0740

There – I heard it again.
I was in an open valley.
I could see for miles.
I saw no one.
Cast. Drift. Retrieve. Repeat.
You get into a rhythm.
Each cast promises success.
But few are perfect.
There it is again.
What am I hearing.
I moved a little.
Upstream. Downstream

My company has mostly been
those Red-winged Blackbirds.
They seem to own this
valley and the stream.
They scolded on my arrival.
Unhappy – they complain
of my very existence.  But
that is not what I hear.
Fishing is slow. I catch one.
Too small – liberated, it
swims away. I moved farther.
I go upstream by a bridge.

 IMG_0734

Here is a quiet, grassy pool
with a current flowing out
from under the bridge.
It looks promising.
There – I hear it now.
Much closer. There — again.
I look around — searching
the shore and grasses.
It’s an unfamiliar sound.
And just then a Coot
paddles out from the
streamside grasses.

IMG_0732

A solitary Coot. Black
in color, with a facemask
bill. Not a duckbill. More
pointed and pronounced.
It reminds me of the
months – years – spent
with our pandemic masks.
He – I assume it’s a “he” –
seems much happier than
the Blackbirds. He does
his thing and I do mine.
I stop and watch.

We coexist for a while,
moments on a quiet pool
high in a mountain meadow.
On the most beautiful day
of the year. He paddles a bit.
I fish a bit.
He calls once or twice.
He and I are placid
companions on this stream.
Neither of us have a complaint
or a care. I pass to the other
side of the bridge. He watches.

 IMG_0736

 *     *     *

Comments 3

 
Rosy Cole on Monday, 12 June 2023 11:07

Tranquil. Energising. Tows a deep sense of refuge with such a delicate hook. Thanks for sharing. It's what we all need these days.

Tranquil. Energising. Tows a deep sense of [i]refuge[/i] with such a delicate hook. Thanks for sharing. It's what we all need these days.
Virginia M Macasaet on Monday, 03 July 2023 01:04

One with nature! Beautiful photos and writing..

One with nature! Beautiful photos and writing..
Stephen Evans on Friday, 07 July 2023 00:04

I had to look it up to see what a coot was, though I have heard the phrase you old coot before and never knew what it referred to. What a great companion for what sounds like a very pleasant excursion.

I had to look it up to see what a coot was, though I have heard the phrase you old coot before and never knew what it referred to. What a great companion for what sounds like a very pleasant excursion.
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Tuesday, 23 July 2024

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