There are a few moments in life when the world pauses and the wind is still and the water is very quiet and paused.
On these days, the dragonfly creates energy.
On these days, a swirling bass creates so much of a bend in the stillness of water that its wake lingers and its shadow is slowly forever and this is what inspires a boy to fish.
And so it is late in the day and the wind is never and the earth is balanced just so and the grass is cool to the tough of a small toe and so one drags the kayak to the edge of this place. Here, the ripples begin from the softness of mud and they grow and passively ruin the blanket of reflection on this pond and they overcome where the bass has disappeared and slowly the kayak advances.
This place is soft. This place is fluid and yet it is a cushion of sound and circumstance and interest and it is also a reflection, too. This place reflects the aging sky of this day. This place reflects the heavy trees and the green of the grass and this place reflects the clouds so that they are beside the kayak and so, this vessel pushes forward, where this place reflects. These ripples grow and expand and absorb and they become a part of something immediate and then a part of something in the past and when these ripples have thinned and pushed away, all is centered and still again, on this pond.
And so there is a cast. The splash creates motion and the line leaves a jaggedness to this water and the ripples are so very small and then on retrieve, the water is sliced very thin and this creates a very small and expansive ripple of water and so this becomes the process of how cast and retrieve, occurs.
With every cast, splash of the lure and the remnants of ripples becomes the interruption of that place. With every cast there is a rippling effect of wonder and moments and thoughts and another cast could be the cast and whatever thought is on the mind is replaced by the next and these ripples are how one fishes and lives and wonders and watches and in that quiet place on a still pond, creates ripples.
Another cast. More ripples. Another cast and from a place that is neither seen nor understood, the bass launches, with lure in lip, and creates a splash and many subsequent ripples. The tightness of the line is now sharp and it appears to bend as the bass deepens its distance to muddy places and darker places and places where the water is not clear like the sky above and as clear as the darkness that will soon come.
The kayak moves and the rod is bent. The reeling is quick and the bass is weak and it darts in last attempts to become free, again.
When it is near and when the splashing and the commotion are done, the beads of water fall to this surface and the bass is lifted free of the murky shallows. The hook is coaxed loose and for a moment, the fish is held against the surface of the water, before being loosed and encouraged to find those murky places and the depths, we cannot see.
The bass disappears and so does the faint wake of its thrusting tail and this water that was displaced by the fish and by the ripples, becomes quiet, again. Soon, the bass is gone. Soon, the ripples are wide and they deflate, too. Soon, the water is soft again and still again and supportive again and it is that of a water of reflection, again. Instead of advancing this kayak forward, it is held by the wind that is not and the pull that does not and the moment that is.
From here, all that is the element of still and placid and quiet, becomes this pond. The world, is cautiously paused. And so, alone and in wonder and absent of wandering, this scene becomes an unseen ripple of sorts. It enters the eye and the mind and it spreads into the soul and into the intricate places and the mind becomes filled with these ripples and their advance. And so it is, that a place without ripples becomes a movement of ripples and this ripple becomes part of an angler’s soul.
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