Leaving behind the holiday parties and the jingly shopping marathons, I traveled to the Pennsylvania forest. The unusual December warmth and overcast sky contributed to a feeling of relief and abandon.
En route I passed a bald eagle perching near a foggy marsh. I slowed to a stop as a ruffed grouse strutted on the pavement till a car honk sent it on its way. On foot, I entered a roadless valley with a trout stream wending through the Pine Creek headwaters.
Ah, no noise, no manufactured color. But in dark December, light and color is appreciated. Where will light and color come from in the deep woods underneath a leaden sky?
I found that the best way to accomplish such a hook up on a day like this was to cast a nymph at the end of a 4-weight line and 7-foot tapered leader. The small brook trout would take the fly, struggle frantically then make a brief appearance at my hand before release.
Soon the Winter Solstice would be here. Soon the subtle reasons for the holidays would become apparent. They would be there in the traces of light and color growing stronger in our senses, no matter what beliefs we hold, no matter the religion (or absence of religion) we adhere to.
Peace of mind.
A genuine, haunting organ and guitar riff.
Vocals clear and unadorned.