I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

#100 Lakes, Ponds and Rivers

In 2006 I wrote and posted a list of 100 life-enriching little nuances in which the items are in no particular order. Once a week, over the next couple of years, I’m planning to write a post about each item on the list. I’d love it if you would add your own comments and experiences.

People have drawn inspiration from lakes, ponds and rivers since time began. The sound of gentle waves acts as two loving hands that massage away the concerns of this world. And that’s usually why we come. In his novel, Where the River Ends, Charles Martin said it this way:
“People come to this river for lots of reasons. Some of us are hiding, some of us are escaping, some of us are looking for a little peace and quiet, maybe trying to forget, anything to ease the pain we carry, but … we all come thirsty.”
When I was a small child, my grandfather used to take me fishing once in a while. We went to a place called Catfish Lake, located just south of the city. I was always a shy kid who wasn’t comfortable around a lot of people. It’s one of the reasons I loved hopping in my grandfather’s truck on a Saturday morning to head for Catfish Lake. And by the way, nothing beat jumping into my grandfather’s truck on a Saturday morning knowing we were headed for Catfish Lake.

As we pulled up to the place, it always smelled fishy, which gave me hope because if I could smell fish, there must be fish in lake and that meant I might just catch one that day.

My anxieties about being around other people disappeared and my senses came to life as my grandfather baited my hook and taught me how to cast a line. He’d get his own line in the water; then we’d wait …  in silence. I think the silence is what I liked best. There’s nothing like sitting next to someone you love and not needing to say anything.

But it wasn’t the type of silence you experience in a library. It was the type of silence that allows you to hear things you wouldn’t ordinarily hear – a tiny frog jumping into the water from the shoreline, a fish jumping out of the water across the lake and then splashing on impact, and the drone of insects.

I don’t remember what type of fish we caught or how many. But we caught our share.

When the fish weren’t biting, my grandfather would tell me I wasn’t holding my mouth open the right way. I don’t think I really ever believed him, but that’s not to say I didn’t try holding my mouth open once or twice just in case he might be right. I’m pretty sure I must have looked like a big mouth bass when I did it.

People who know me now would say I’m not an outdoor person because I don’t like heat or insects and they would be partially correct. But I still love the silence that can only be found when you are around water.


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