Hundreds of miles from here
The skies will pop and sparkle
as shooting stars skritch and scratch
their luminous spears across the visible universe
the lake will erupt
August doldrums have arrived, the familiarity comforting at the same time it stirs me up too much.
Explosions and implosions have stunted my usual muse.
I recognize the pause for it has been here before.
The solution is to step away.
It's all in the timing.
Friends await. Younger fellows with spunk and their own mistakes to make yet. They need to unwind as do I.
They are hard working people. We meet up this time of year to be surrounded by the sweet smell of the Ponderosa duff, the sound of the lake gently lapping against the shore's edge, as Clark's nutcrackers swoop and dive taunting the ground squirrels to drop their breakfast.
The days begin gloriously each morning, the single sun looking for a few magical seconds to be two as it crests the tree tops.
We'll shout greetings, then chase big fish for a long week. The most adept among us is a high school teacher and summer fishing guide who takes us to the best spots in his big boat, cost free of course, generally only a 100 ft. or so past where we can cast from shore, We anchor, cups of dark coffee warming our hands until the bite is on, fishing with Dragon Fly nymphs as bait, seeking 5-10 lb. German Brown Trout.
When we return to the old barn-red lodge and restaurant mid-morning with our haul, the curious gather to ask, "Where were you? What did you use?"
We claim to have been somewhere other than we were, glancing quickly at what the lodge owner has left to sell on the equipment racks.
"You have to use the Bright Yellow Bug-a-Boo lure with the trailing blade, up by the dam at the end of the reservoir" we fib, winking at the lodge owner who will be sold out of them by the next morning as word spreads of the motley bunch lugging the over-sized denizens of the river channel's depths.
Somethings are best left unsaid. If that cannot be done then fishing provides a cosmic pass for lying.
We'll smell bad, skip shaving, wear dirty hats and set too close to the fire at night as we sip our favored libations. Their children will scurry about, chasing chipmunks and exciting the dogs, or remain motionless, noses pointed to their game devices, while grandparents and other adults intent on recapturing that sense of being care-free set in chairs smiling and chattering.
We'll make the oh-so-necessary phone calls to our jobs after fishing in the morning to keep the wheels spinning in town, because we are endlessly busy folk, but for a week we'll be young and thrilled at every eagle soaring and every osprey that dives to steal the fish before our nets scoop the take into the boat.
At night, away from the camaraderie I'll look to the sky, reflecting on the bounty of this gift of life.
If you are among those who close your eyes and make a wish, a special hope for you will attach to one of those shooting stars, one that doesn't burn out crashing to our planet as a rock, but soars on past the pull of gravity and our daily machinations, to a bigger place where past, present and future cannot be distinguished, where the hopes of those desire goodwill for all can exist, unfettered by this earthly veil.
I always enjoy Bruce Cockburn. He's been a favorite for a long time. In the background one can hear a former partner of mine, Patty Larkin. We were a writing and performing duo a very long time ago. She went on to a very successful career. She has many CD's and an extensive YouTube presence.