Observations during the prelude to darkness

Jul. 15, 2013 @ 06:32 PM

There really is no end of the day.
This is how he sees life through blue eyes that are hidden behind dark sunglasses. He is old but not too old. He is young but old enough. He is alone but not lonely. He is healthy but not immune.
He is a man of few words with a heart that bleeds a passion to speak. He is a fishing pole lifted to the sky, and a slow crank upon still water. He has a career and gives more than he receives. He knows the tides, knows the moon, knows how to read the current and is hopeful that the little fish may grow and thrive.
This place is not just a body of water, it is where currents meet, jetty’s form, cool water is found deep and ankle water is warm. It is a place where the marsh grass and the tides share the sun.
He is here, and the anchor is deep in soft mud, the wind is paused and he is still.
He is a man of routines, such as a brown-paper bag lunch and a small cooler. He passed beneath the dim light by the pier three times. His six rods are worn and accustomed to pointing to the sky and being bent by fish, too.
He checks the fuel, ices the bait and sees that darkness has nearly expired. The boat is muffled, the water is still and he encourages her forward from this canal and into the bay.
He is not alone, as the fleet is sailing to the east where deeper water awaits. He knows the port. He knows the sandbars, the channel markers and where the flounder wait and the trout stir. He knows there is no rush, too.
The air is friendly against the smoothness of his face. His arms are darkened from the sun, and the cool wind momentarily produces goose bumps.
The engine now is off, and the boat is caressed by the tide. He casts like an angler and waits. He works the shallows, the point and the places in between. He catches and releases smaller fish, and he is careful against the ice with the ones that will be fried and savored later.
The water rinses his hands, and his sandwich is cool. He watches the falling tide, the minnows that play and an egret is his nearest companion here.
The fish are unpredictable and slow to bite, and that is just fine. It is nearing the time of day when the tide grows still, the fleet returns home and the egret has flown across the marsh to a cedar tree that provides some cover.
The four fish in the ice are enough. It is time. The engine purrs for seven minutes, he slows the boat, then idles the engine off and again the anchor is awash in soft mud and dark water.
The tips of the rod gesture to the sky that no longer is blue. When all of the ripples have played their way across the bay, he sits to watch the setting sun and her grace.
Oh, how the sky is painted. The clouds to the west are are purple, pink and grey. The sun that warmed the ankle deep water and hardened the skin now is an aura of orange and nearly red. She holds slow and deliberate in her digress from the landscape. Her boundary is one that is not chained nor limited.
Instead, her presence is one that revolves and inspires. She is a relic of the day. He is a curator of her antiquing ways.
He absorbs, wishes and hopes for all that a young or old man might hope for when witnessing the sun lose her grip upon the day. It is now that three passes beneath a dimly lit light by the pier is worth seeing her reach slowly fade.
It is now that the shadows are long cast, the egret nests, the tide moves again and the silence and peace of this place reflects in her wake.
He inhales and exhales. He stands and knows it is time. The anchor is lifted. The boat is brought around. The bay is churned, and the marsh grass dances. Somewhere, the sun is behind him, here in the prelude to darkness.
Enjoy your time outdoors.

You may contact Jason Hawkins at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.