Monday, August 20, 2012
It's Been Too Long
I punch the snooze, roll over, and burrow deeper under the covers, trying to recall the last time I was roused by an alarm clock. The recollection won’t come. Instead, a number of plausible explanations as to why I can’t remember begin to solidify in the sleepy haze, gaining substance while last night’s odd assortment of inadequacy dreams dissolve to nothingness. Two trains of consciousness, passing in the dark awakening.
Why can’t I remember? To be sure, my memory isn’t what it once was, but that’s too easy an answer. It’s also true that I now live a life unfettered by rigid schedule, scorning all “must be somewhere” situations that require unnatural temporal intervention. A clock, much less an alarming one, is a tad incongruous and easily forgotten. But it’s not that either. The real reason takes a moment to surface and, when it does, it’s enough to push me from under the covers and into the quiet darkness of the house.
It’s been too long since I’ve been trout fishing.
Now, I’ve been on the water my fair share this year (forty-four days, according to my journal) but it’s been months since I’ve been out for trout. Instead, it’s been largemouths, smallmouths, carp, redfish. Fish that live close by. Fish that don’t mind summer heat. Fish that move in patterns independent of their orientation to the sun. Fish I can get to at my leisure. But not trout. Unlike the others, trout conjure alarm clocks. You see, the closest cold water is a few hours away and I like to be in the stream to watch the morning mists rise.
So I get up and move quietly through the dark house, bare feet on cool concrete. Dress. Eat breakfast. Slip out the side door. The truck is packed and I'm on the road as light begins to bleed into the rearview mirror. Two hours on the road in deep contemplation of nothing in particular - certainly nothing important. Two hours that pass in a heartbeat. A sunrise walk along the tracks. A quiet, careful wade down a feeder creek as morning rays begin to filter through the trees. The feeder empties into larger water and I’m on a trout stream once again, watching it come alive. Here early, thanks to the almost forgotten clatter of an alarm clock.
Yeah. It’s been too long since I’ve been trout fishing