As summer wanes and we creep inexorably toward September, I thought I would share something I wrote for my good friend Dave (yes, pig roast Dave) a few years back, inspired by those hazy, humid Midwestern days when the buzz of cicadas fills the thick air and all is lush and green. I miss you, buddy, and wish we could sneak in one last morning on the water.
In a life too often ruled by frustration and responsibility, it is a brief moment of perfection. Driving to my friend’s home early in the morning in preparation for a day of fishing, the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place. I am alone, temporarily unfettered by the needs or wants of my family. The hour is such that the road is empty – there are no plodding farm contraptions marked with orange triangles or elderly drivers in their baseball caps to slow me down. Wisps of steam curl lazily from a large mug of mocha-flavored coffee that waits patiently in the cup holder. This must be what heaven smells like. My favorite album, the one where I know every word to every song, is in the CD player. Outside, first light is slowly returning the colors of summer to the Midwestern landscape – fields of green corn, golden hay bales, crimson clouds streaking a purple and indigo sky. And the day holds only promise. I will be fishing with my best friend, a life-long comrade who knows my every quirk and accepts them all without question. And I his. We will commiserate over jobs and bemoan the ravages of time on our once god-like bodies while catching up on sundry family details. Mostly, though, we will just share the time together, in a boat on the water, bathed in sunshine or soaked by rain, but away from the world. Of course, it would be all the better should we actually catch some fish, but that is secondary, really. What I look forward to most is the quietude – the simple, perfect arc of a well-placed cast, the gentle “plop” of the lure meeting the water, the anticipation of a strike. These moments have become all too fleeting, so I savor them now more than ever. And I am grateful for friends who make them possible.
Photo compliments of fredmiranda.com