Calm

  • The fishing has once again slowed down. We are left only with low clouds, a light drizzle and our thoughts. Every year this time of the season is hard––fishing will not get better, the glamorous and daring days of filling our boat to gunnel with fish are well over and as the other fishermen leave, we are left quiet and alone with only mosquitoes and bears for company.

    Some years I am chomping at the bit to leave. Nothing in particular calls me, I just have a feeling that I need to rejoin the world. But this year I am taking a deep breath and realizing that this is a sublim time to be here and that every minute here is a gift. There will be plenty of time for the busyness of the world later.

    Salmon are starting to wash up on the shore having completed their lifecycle. They braved the open Pacific for years, then dodged nets and bears and finally laid their precious eggs to rest in some lonely stretch of stream bed near the peaks that I am looking at now. But the sacrifice is not complete until they have finally stopped swimning and their gill plates have pumped water over their fleshy gills for the last time. They lose traction in the current and their still form washes down river, gliding over millions of buried eggs. After a few days, if an eagle has not snatched them from the river, they might wash up here in front of our cabin. The rich fat and protein of their flesh will nourish the bears and wolves we see evidence of each morning, and finally its nitrogen rich remains will fertilize the tundra for years to come.

    So we’ll stay on, watching from our kitchen window the fierce clouds undulate over the peaks and flow down their flanks menacingly toward us. We’ll watch the bears amble down the beach every evening and we’ll wonder about the wolves we only see in mysterious track form. When all the fish have passed our buoys and the weather gets worse yet, we will start to make plans for leaving. But for now we are contented.


    July 22nd, 2012 | Traveler | No Comments |

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