By Robin Garrison Leach
Fishing is therapy for the senses. It is not something to do. It is somewhere to be.
The river calls to me. Its gurgling echo tickles my ears with the ripple of the water against craggy banks. I imagine it whispering my name in a myriad of murky timbres. The sound pulls me closer and I stare into the water like a lost child searching for a familiar face in a darkened room.
Nothing unusual is floating in the swiftly moving current. Bits of soggy leaves, foamy bubbles, twigs and outlines of submerged logs. But true magic is never easily detected. That part of the river I cannot see anchors me to it; I long for a glimpse of the secrets buried just below its surface.
A splash. My eyes dart toward the sound. I see circles of evidence expand in circumference while lessening in definition, and I imagine the tingly feel of those rings as they roll along the water’s surface. Their undulating ridges perform a dance of mystery for my eyes alone.
The sheltering trees that dot the riverbank explode with music. The harmony works together in a hymn of perfect praise. All around me I hear choruses only God could compose and only Love could produce.
The singers remain hidden among the leaves as they whistle their thoughts. A red-winged blackbird squawks and trills his guttural offering, adding bites of earthy seasoning to the sugary notes of his more delicate neighbors. The layers of music accompany the dancing of the water, setting a lazy tempo for my heartbeat to match.
Pungent, fishy winds huff through the branches; leaves crinkle like pages from ancient books. Crickets hidden in the weeds chirp joyfully at having been spared the purgatory of the bait box, and pray gruffly for the speedy passage of those kin who face the untimely demise to come.
My heart burbles with a silent song of its own. There are no words; they would desecrate the splendor of this moment.
For the complete issue, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard