A day-long rain cancels my intended visit to the upper Sinnemahoning. Disappointment has me dreaming– oh, those might-have-been trout! Those wild browns upstream of Costello, those speckled natives of the East Fork pools!
Some old moderns like myself get sidetracked now and then, get rolled by forces that reduce us to the level of a small kid or a primitive hunter or a drooling elder. No, there’s not much to be done at times like this. The mind gets loosened by the storm, and someone says, “Damn, the fishing could be good today. I haven’t seen the Birch or the Wild Boy Run in ages.”
Wild nature rounds us if our senses apprehend. Here at home the whip-poor-will, after years of absence from my life, surprises with its call at dusk. Front yard, back yard, pine grove recitations! So I study dusk and dawn as the night-bird fills all crevices with sound. Thoreau once said, “New beings have usurped the air we breathe,” and I listen even in the rain.
The child can be father to the man, they say. You can step in the same stream twice and watch yourself dissolve. I can fish or bird in the universal solvent, direct my wandering in the mythos of the wild. I won’t have to curse those sodden hours in the rain. My daydreams, mixed with memory, are therapeutic. I can salvage drier moments here at home.