of riding the waves and racing the tides.
Childhood memories of fishing with my father and uncles still ring clear for me. Memories of slowly picking our way down a brook over slippery moss covered rocks, while trying to not lose my pole or get tangled up in shrubs and trees while trying to look as capable as any 10 year old possibly can. If I faltered or slipped my Dad would be the first to laugh asking me what my problem was. My father was a good natured person which was one trait I inherited from him so his jokes and jabs rolled off my back like water on a duck. To be any other way would of grounded me back at camp being seen as a hindrance and problem. So if I hurt myself on those wet rocks I always bit back the sting of tears over bruised knees and scraped hands. Sometimes it would be too much for me and I'd very gingerly enter the ice cold water and creep my way to my favorite boulder that sat in the center of the fast moving brook. I would drop my line in the water and wait for my father on his return trip.
I loved that spot. I loved the warmth of the rock, hot from the sun and the dappled sunlight that sparkled on the water through the large overhanging tree and the sounds of the water as it trickled and cascaded between the rocks. On the days when the bugs were tolerable with only the cicadas buzzing beneath the heat of the sun and the crickets singing in the shade of the tall grass, well, it was almost a given to fall asleep on that rock while laying on my tummy with my chin resting on my folded arms. I can remember a small pool of water collected between a ridge of rocks and the banks of the brook beneath the shade of the overhanging tree. I remembered that when I looked down into pool, between the reflections of the branches and leaves, I could see the blue sky and slow moving white puffy clouds reflecting back into the pool. A perfect moment caught in a perfect memory.
I'd like to say that I think that fishing is an underrated pastime. Unlike pastimes like golf there is no aim for getting anything into any holes on the first shot. I've seen people I know where their whole week was ruined by a bad game of golf ... you know who you are!
There is no such thing as a bad fishing day. Unless your next meal depends on catching fish then, not catching any fish is irrelevant. It's the experience of the fishing that counts. You won't ever see anyone fishing that is looking angry or enraged. Can't say the same about a golf course. Angry golfers are 'par for the course'. With fishing, many times I've heard people say, " We didn't catch anything other than a few mosquito bites but, it sure was a great time."
When my boys were quite young there was a time when after our evening meals I'd pile them into the station wagon and take them to Rockwood Park to go fishing.
Rockwood Park is a 870 hectare or 2200 acre urban park located in the middle of the city of Saint John NB about 5 minutes from the city's uptown area. It holds over 10 fresh water lakes, horseback riding, bicycle trails, foot paths and so much more. Oh, and yes, it has a golf course. On any given spring or summer evening you can find many folk casting their lines into Lily Lake, located just inside the entrance to Rockwood Park. It's just a really great way to end the day. My boys loved it! When we'd return home they were fast asleep before we pulled into our driveway. Nothing like fresh air to relax a child and help them sleep better!
These memories stir a yearning that rises up from deep within me. Memories of long ago summer days of a girl and her Dad, deep in the forest, picking their way along a brook, moving downstream, over wet mossy rocks looking for the perfect spot to drop our lines and sit in the warmth of the late day sun. It was always good.
As I wrap up this writing my eyes keep getting drawn to glance through my windows out into the cove, on to Crowe Island and beyond to the Bay of Fundy. I've never fished her waters. I've never wanted to. It's unknown territory to me. It's one of those things where it's OK to leave some mystery, to never really know all the secrets of the deep ... and that's OK by me.
And to you dear reader - "Keep yer line in da wadder!"
Until the next high tide .......