If I had the gift of being with my child for an entire day, I’d consider a pre-dawn start — in hope of a splendid sunrise — followed by a drive to the nearest fish-bearing water.  We’d use artificial lures or salmon eggs as bait, then we’d get right to the good part, casting your line and waiting.

If we were lucky enough to be in a boat, we’d feel the undulations of wind-blown water underneath, witness the sun making sparkles of a million fluid diamonds.  If on land, we might skip rocks, turn over a few stones in search of hidden creatures, and simply revel in the increasing light and warmth of the morn.  Then, if the pole started shaking, we’d try to reel in the fish, marvel at its uniquenss, gently remove the hook, and let it return to its home.

Among other things, fishing teaches patience.  Good converation flows too when sitting at the water’s edge.  Boredom is patience’s enemy, so you have to be ready when impatience attempts a foothold.  That’s when food treats are revealed, you move to another location and/or if the Gods are good to you, the osprey or eagle appears magically. A splendid picnic lunch would be savored slowly.

How to spend the afternoon?  If we had fished on the streambank, then we could capture the watery theme by walking along (or in!) the lakeshore only to find… a canoe, equipped with paddles and life jackets.

If walking is preferred, there would be moments of discovery, awe, and silence, a memorable time sizzling with joy and excitement.

The rest of the afternoon becomes pure discovery with magnificent views from the overlook, refreshing smells and sounds, the utter invigoration of unmotorized movement. As the day grows long and shadows creep into the scene, we head to an ecotone, a converging of two habitats:  forest and field, beach and water, sunset and stars…a quiet spot to say adios to the sun, to reflect upon the day, to county our blessings, eventually to scheme and plan our next adventure. ~

Happy New Year.