Fishing

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Jim has developed a new habit of fly fishing in our front yard. Knee deep in the spring snow that still blankets our little corner of earth, he casts his line out across the field of slowly melting white. Rolling arcs thread their way from rod to sky, the thin song of their back and forth, back and forth, transforming our home into a tibetan singing bowl. Our dogs bound circles around him, inserting themselves into this confusing game of fetch.

Our mountain holds many things, but not fish. Aside from a few murky pools where springs have managed to eek their way between cracks in granite ledge, all that is liquid melts to the valley of streams and rivers below. But still Jim casts his line.

It is spring in New England; we are fisherman without a pond. The promise of above-freezing temperatures and lengthening daylight call us out of our dark, slumbering caves. But heaps of unmelted snow maintain the chill in the air. Spots of emerging earth form melting pots of ice and mud, which suck my boots into the slop and, as I wrestle myself free, thrust me across skims of frozen puddles, threatening to crash me into the muck from which I was just released. It is April, and she has at once filled me with equal parts hope and despair.

I sit on the deck and pretend I can see through the white mask into the green sprouting up from below. I shake packets of seeds and allow the maraca-like sound to carry me into our future garden, a world of vining snap peas, blushing tomatoes, and carrot tops announcing their offerings that grow beneath a cloak of warm earth. I dream myself into the version of spring that speaks in crocuses and daffodils and smells alive. And when I realize that my monkey mind has wandered from the present into the future, just this once, I do not call it home. I cast it, like Jim’s line, into the warm months ahead that are speckled with new promise and the comforting echo of perennial traditions. From my precarious perch on this land of freeze and thaw, I set my intention for warmth and light. I look to Jim with his boots in the snow, knowing his place while trusting that in time there will be water, and perhaps even a fish to dance on his line, and I am reminded to open to all that I hope for but cannot yet see, and to trust that it is on its way.

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