Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Day at (Lake) Paradise (Day 31)

As this new day dawned, it seemed everything around me was vibrantly alive: little toads hopping about in the damp grass, fish jumping up out of the water catching their breakfast, butterflies on the wing under a clear, blue sky, dragonflies swooping down to the lake’s surface and some being devoured for swooping too close, birds singing morning songs, and the squirrels squirreling around.  During the night the crickets sang, the frogs croaked, the rain ceased, and this world  I observed at dawn, slept as I did—soundly and peacefully—awaiting its time.  This vibrant beginning of a new day made me want to sing, “Morning Has Broken,” or “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning; Oh, What a Wonderful Day!”

It was a beautiful morning, and it has turned out to be wonderful day.  A hearty breakfast was prepared and then the really important moment arrived—time to go a’fishing!  I first used a lure—no bites!  Then a minnow—no bites! Then I used some artificial (plastic worm) bait—no bites!  Meanwhile, the fish were jumping out of the water all around me.  I tried a grasshopper—no bites!  Finally, I found a fishworm under a rock and immediately caught a sunfish!  And then— it was lunchtime!

The afternoon was as pleasant as the morning, sitting under the awning, facing the lake, and basking in the warmth of the sun (79 degrees) under a gorgeous Missouri sky.  At 3 p.m. the urge to go a’fishing again took over and after finding some worms under rocks and leaves, I spent another hour “fishing” (“fishing” for me is not about catching a fish; it is another kind of fishing altogether, though it is always nice to say I caught at least one, or maybe two, or three).  Alas! nothing!

Now evening has come to Lake Paradise in Lone Pine, Missouri (a place I’ve never been before) and the harvest moon shines bright.  It has been a “needed” day—a day off the road; a “lazy” day—a day of fishing; a “catch-up” day—a day of solitude.  Tomorrow we will be “On the Road Again,” heading east.  What awaits?  What route shall we take?  Where will we be at the end of the day?  With Kazantzakis’ Odysseus, I want to say, “O free soul, I rejoice when you sprout wings to fly, or open up new roads!”

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