The bobber floats, but when it dips, my heart skips for hooked lips. The line tightens, the tug is strong, I reel in. The fight is on. It's a tug of war, an uncooperative catch, an unoiled hinge you sometimes won't budge. I grab my net and it's like you know. Deeper you go, but I won't lose you. Slow and steady, I wear you out. You break through the water's surface like a newborn from the womb. You are born again, gasping for familiarity. My thumb in your mouth I snap a photo! Shiny scales, and stiff fins, your ancient beauty is mesmerizing. I'm hypnotized, caught in the moment, trapped by present time. No future. No past. No watches, clocks, or calendars. Just me and you. My prize. Then I realize.
I thought it was the fish, but it's merely a wish, to be connected. A primal need for Mother Nature to wrap me in her earthy foliage and soothe my urban lungs with her fresh rural air. To hear an orchestra of crispy insects buzz and feathered friends chirp, the forest is a song that never stops playing. The reds, oranges, yellows, purples and greens. The wildflowers cover the ground like an old fashioned quilt. Their sweet smelling nectar teases the nostrils with odorous pleasure. A painter's pallet, a living canvas surrounds me. A Groundhog munches, a squirrel races up the tree, a woodpecker pecks. Was that a mink? An otter? I think so, as a deer stares at me from the distance. You could have called she appears to say. I smile. I know. I'm aware. To feel small is too feel tall. All questions can be answered in the woods. It's the journey, not the catch.
I release you. Back in the water you swim, and I exhale.
Copyright © Kelly Murphy | Year Posted 2019