After posting this morning I did exactly what I needed to do....... blow the dust off the waders and head to the river. The Grand was running high and muddy so I headed down Paine Creek. It was supposed to be a quickie to get my head back in the game and recharge my battery.
My very first thought when I hit the river bank; yesterday morning I sat in the brand new atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art and it was breath taking but this......... well there is nothing we can build that can match this and I smiled. We can do some pretty cool stuff but we can't do this....... this is simply glorious.
The sun, bright, brilliant sun....... it's been scarce around here. The chickens have sort of gone on strike laying, 1-6 eggs a day depending on the weather and mood in chicken chalet. I couldn't head out the door fast enough this morning. Parking the truck, I jumped out and put the boots on, heading 10 steps to the river....... if it looked good I'd go back for my tackle. It looked pretty good but I kept hiking upstream.
I looked back and realized the last thing I wanted to do was walk in the river lugging tackle and rod. I wanted to move and feel my legs on the frozen ground, hear the ice crystals crunch under the weight of my boots and I wanted to breath.
A misty morning and the belted kingfisher was busy catching breakfast. I took his lead and plunged my arthritic aching hands into the frozen river. The minnows scattered, darting under rocks and roots.
I turned over a submerged flat rock and found a brown spotted salamander. I scooped him up in my hand wondering if my frozen hand was warm enough for him to feel my touch. He was so small and squirmy, I gently put him back, he too fled for cover with the minnows. I thrust my cold wet hands into my pockets and kept moving.
Further down the trail the downy woodpeckers were feasting on bugs moving in the sentries of dead trees. The titmice and chickadee's flitted and sounded their alarms in the morning sun, everybody seemed happy to drink in the sun this morning, especially the human.
After a good climb up the hill I felt my lungs and heart pumping. After spending months sitting at wheel or sitting at a table weaving it was good know my body still worked as it should. My back stopped hurting, a Christmas miracle? I took the switch back trail at the top of the hill.
Rewarded with the view....... this is my home, I live here and it recharges me every time.
Sometimes it is good to sit on a rock or felled tree and let the woods settle in around you. Quiet and so happy just to "be". I fit here, I belong here and I smile here.
I found wild chives growing in a field on the road back to the truck. It occurred to me I never leave these hikes empty. Always something is given, sometimes it's a feather dropped, the gall off a milkweed stalk, chives.... just the greens leaving the bulbs to generate new greens. Sometimes just my head or heart might be full but I have never left empty. I think this might apply to life...... always give something back.
My faithful beast, who no longer accompanies me on my walks these days stays home to guard the wood stove. Gathering 3 warm eggs before I entered the house for lunch I was greeted with a happy old friend, tail wagging. I shared my omelet with him, washed the dishes and we went to the studio for the afternoon..... the cycle begins again with fresh pots on the shelves.....
Tomorrow back to the river, different fishing hole and maybe I'll take the rod......... maybe I won't :)