Sometimes, when the days are long and the temperatures too hot, my mind checks out and takes a little boat ride out to a special place where the lily pads are as big as golf umbrellas. Here the pressures of life seem to evaporate in the dull glow of the late evening summer sun. There are moments when all of us simply want to disappear to that place where nobody knows our name. I went there today, yet I never left my home.
It all started with a text message from a friend who happened to be out on my mythical body of water in the flesh. He sent me a text message, and in a couple of short sentences painted a welcomed word picture of this amazing solace of solitude. This image he captured in a few words was filled with numbers: seven jugs, twenty white pelicans, and three-eleven foot alligators coupled with a full moon. It doesn’t get any better than this whether you’re dreaming or not. Perhaps it seems a bit cryptic to you, but to me it is better than a 3-D movie with the glasses. If I can’t go in person, at least I dip my toes and drag my fingers in the waters of my imagination.
My ole fishing buddy is slipping across that still body of water headed for the little slew hidden among the lily pads where he can tie off to the remains of a decaying tree top. Over his shoulder, the moon is full and its light ricochets off the black water in a mysterious way that can mesmerize you if you stare at it long enough. Cruising across the water, you realize you are not alone out here. There are some other predators out here with the same thing you have on your mind—big fish! You can hear them as they grunt along the shore line or occasionally you might catch a glimpse of an eleven foot red-eyed gator as it glides effortlessly through the still waters of the lake. One gets your attention, but three tells you to be very, very cautious. There are others out here tonight that want to lay claim to this fishing hole. No this is not a clip from Swamp People, but this is the best stress reliever you can get for a couple of gallons of gas, a fishing license, and an ice-cold can of Dt. Mtn. Dew. And the best part is it’s not costing me anything but little time.
Perhaps you’re wondering about the pelicans and the jugs. Those big white birds are roosting like Wal-Mart bags snagged in the branches of the cypress trees, while the jugs are rigged with circle 5 hooks and baited with big bream. To quote my buddy, “The bigger the bait the bigger the catfish we’re gonna catch!”
Now—all that’s left is to kick back, get comfortable, and enjoy the croaking of the frogs and the occasional splash of a smaller fish frantically attempting a maneuver to evade a much larger fish hungry for sushi. The hum of an occasional mosquito shatters the silence, but with a wave of a hand that calming hush returns.
I may not be there in person, but I sure enjoyed the journey in my imagination a
great deal. In case you’re wondering, my friend shot me a text this morning to tell me he had just netted a seven pound catfish. Pretty good I thought, but the ones I caught last night in my dreams were far bigger.