It’s just like me to say, alright, it’s the first day of firearms season for deer in New York, so I’ll make myself scarce and head to Pennsylvania for some fly fishing. And then it’s just like me to say, damn it, why are all these blaze-orange gunners standing by the road in rural PA when the deer season is still a week away?
Well, I forgot about the opener of bear season in the state. Obviously there were far more bear hunters in this neck of the woods than bears to hunt. I had to go against the grain of my own interests in fishing the upper Pine. I’d better adapt quickly. Put on a blaze-orange vest to shield my black pullover, and find a less crowded stream to fish.
It’s been the story of my life, pretty much… Going against the grain of expectation, against the current of social affairs, but maybe that’s for the better. I had reason to be thankful. Battling the river currents all these years has left my 65 year-old legs in relatively decent shape.
It was cold and overcast but I was happy to be out. It was peaceful here, no blasts from the bear guns to be heard, as yet. I was still in a funk from all the news of war and violence in the world. The attack on the hotel in Mali left many innocents dead, including one American who, it turns out, was a worker for peace and justice, and also a friend and colleague of a member of my own family… Yes, we cast one stone on the pond of life, and look, the ripples can travel very far.
Which is one of the motivators, no doubt, that terrorists have in mind when they commit the mayhem we all hear about. But think about it, can we cast a stone for peace as well? Can the stone create a counter-wave to the violence washing toward the shores of our own being? I like to believe it can, although we’ll never hear of its effect.
“Against the Current” was my original title for Beautiful Like a Mayfly— before I thought it wasn’t original enough and therefore had to change it. That title seemed apropos, however, and still seems relevant. Here’s an excerpt from the Forward:
“…With the creek or the river as a metaphor for life, I would soon be wading against the current. To wade in such a manner would become a theme for the days and years to come. If civilization had a wicked flow at times, this was the best way I could serve it…”
Yeah, I would fall occasionally and get swept downstream a ways, but then I would rise to my feet and keep on moving. There’s a lot of good still left to be seen; a lot of good right here and now if we’ve got the eyes to see.
In keeping with the theme, I’ll step from my book promotion to focus on a related item. If you’re a small stream aficionado and don’t have the book 50 Best Places, Fly Fishing the Northeast, you might want to read my “Fly Fishing Slate Run,” replete with map and everything necessary for immersion in a wild environment close to home. Available from Stonefly Press through Amazon Books, this eight-page Kindle Edition is actually the same as the chapter written for 50 Best Places.