It was three years ago this summer that I went to the water with John for the first time. There was a lot going on and I was having a hard time focusing on anything. John brought me to the water and stood me at the side of the lake. He pointed out towards some fallen trees that laid in the water there and asked, “Do you see it? The Heron, he’s right there.”
I remember feeling as though I were walking around in a haze, my mind blurring everything together and then I saw the Heron. The sight of that bird brought me to immediate focus and all of those whirling thoughts, the confusion and unrest stopped. At that moment, John let go and stepped away. He watched me watch the Heron, as though that bird was the only creature there ever was, or would be. When the Heron finally lifted himself up taking flight, I stepped back as though the wind from his wings had pushed me a bit. I watched him disapear over the trees and I turned to look at John.
Over that summer I spent a lot of time at the water with John. Ponds and lakes where he would go out onto the water kayak fishing, leaving me to do whatever it was that I would do.
It wasn’t very long before we went to get a fishing bag of my own, or at least what I would call my fishing bag.
My new fishing bag turned out to be a yellow book bag. A very bright yellow book bag. I am not one to buy things that are so brightly colored, hence we have the clearance tag hanging from the bag.
From that point on, when I followed John to the water, my fishing bag came with, only it wasn’t filled with the same fishing items as John’s. It held pens and pencils, sharpie markers, notebooks and a book to read. I also always carried my big book and step book with me, which I would read and write my thoughts on after. I wrote poetry and filled a few journals.
I carried a camera, although it took a while for me to start to take pictures. The things I saw and experienced were so amazing to me that the thought of stopping to take a picture seemed like a waste. No one was ever going to see what I was seeing in a picture.
My favorite pond to go to then was one that John and I call the cushy spot. We call it that, because then where he brought me had a lot to do with where I could be while was on the water.
The cushy spot had a tree with a beautiful root system. It was perfect for me as I sat on my little seat provided by the tree. Here is a picture of me sitting in the cushy spot, taken by John from his kayak in the fall of 2012.
As time went by and we went to other lakes and ponds, I started to do more exploring. I walked for hours, leaving my bag now in the truck to go back to if I needed something. I wore head phones for music and at times filled my bag with water, snacks and the camera.
My new favorite became a small pond that not only had a beautiful place to sit and write, but I could walk around the pond through the woods. Here is a picture of me that John took at T-pond in the fall of 2013, before I went to the airport for a trip to Maryland.
Then there was oatmeal pond. John and I named it that because he fishes for Carp and apparently he thinks using oat meal, or canned corn for bait is a good idea. I am sure he is right, although how he goes about getting that on the hook is beyond me!
There is a bridge at Oatmeal that actually brings two ponds together and while he was fishing in the first, I could cross the bridge to walk through the woods on the other. When I went far enough up the back, past the water on one side, the rail road tracks could be walked for I don’t know how far. I might know if it hadn’t started to rain every time I started down the tracks. It took about a 20 minute walk to get that far and when it rains, I know it is time to go.
I am not a photographer, but I know what I like and what I like are trees. At Oatmeal pond as I walked through I found a few trees that I thought were great, like this one. Another root system, I guess I have a thing for those…
I guess you could say I inspected this tree from every perspective. I also found mushrooms that I might have eaten if I hadn’t been suspicious!
What? I think it’s cute! Of course, when I say I love trees, I mean that in any shape or form they may take. Broken and bare, like this one…
Just a stump that used to be a tree, like these…
The ones that have fallen and reach out over the water… or the ones that are no more than what seems to be branches growing out of nowhere, reaching out in a mess of chaotic, branches…
I learned at Oatmeal pond that when going uphill, a person should always be sure that going back down won’t be horrifying….
As for my view of the water itself, I mentioned the Heron… a picture taken by John…
The pair of Swans at the cushy spot, taken by me…
Of course, the water lilies, the dragon flies, the geese, ducks, squirrels that kept company with me. John told me I would see something new every time that I went and I did. The best thing I saw though was John, on the water.
He never disturbed a thing, as peaceful as the swans and always came the moment when I would look up from my book, or stop on my hike through the woods to look out over the water and there he would be. Somehow, at those moments it was as though every part of the picture came together, the sunset, the trees, the water, the birds and then him, the focus in it all and it was stunningly beautiful, causing me to suck in my breath, absolutely mesmerized by this picture before me and it was then that I started to wish I was a painter. Alas, I am not, nor will I be.
John and I started to go to the Cape Cod Canal, the Stripers are coming!
The day finally came, 39 inches of fish and I will say it was thrilling to watch him bring it in! Also, I admit, I held his fin during his last moments, pathetic, I know… I guess it comes from watching “The Incredible Mister Limpet” with Don Knots, way to many times as a kid!
As I was saying, 39 inches of Striper…
As a rule, with John, it is catch and release, unless of course it is something his Mom would want to cook up. The legal size of a keeper is 28 inches, John won’t keep anything under 32.
Of course there are ponds and lakes I haven’t mentioned, many more sights and sounds. So much actually for me to recall at a later time, but it is time to move forward.
Always with the moving forward and change, which brings me to the other side of the trees. My own kayak and a new fishing bag! A totally different perspective on everything from this new side of those trees!
I remember John told me, this will open a whole new world up for me and it has.