“Every particle of the universe tells the story in its own context. It’s a kind of symphonic process. When we exile the scientific telling of the story from the humanities and theology, we do not allow them to be an integral expression of the great story.”
~ Thomas Berry
Today was one of those spring days that could not be more perfect; waking up at dawn to the song of a bluebird, watching her feed her chicks, and preparing in anticipation for communing with the fish, those beautiful majestic fish. Mike was running late. I told him no worries. Go slow and we would get there. We got there. Lake Holt lay perfectly still as we rounded the hill. She lay there waiting for us to explore her depths with fly rod and crappie jig. I hoped we were not too late. From reports earlier in the week, I feared we would be a day too late. I wanted Mike and his family to taste their sweet taste one more time before summer took over. By then, they would be spread out so far from one another; their elusive presence would take over until the first signs of fall would show them up again. Please let us not be too late, dear God. Share your bounty with us on this perfect morning you have prepared for us. I took us to the usual first spot. Eating my own earlier words, I became impatient as I could only hope and anxiously anticipate they would take our offerings. Suddenly I felt the old familiar tug on the end of my line. I firmly set the hook and there she was flopping on the surface, breaking the quiet harmony of the water in front of us. Quickly netted, I was off the snide as she lay flopping on cold ice. Quickly, Mike lifted his rod to a full bend and in a matter of seconds; he too would not be skunked today. We both smiled quietly at each other, knowing this morning was made for him and me in God’s watery sanctuary. We came for crappie and got everything we asked for and so much more; a deepening friendship solidified by his seven and my six would make a feast tonight for his family of four. Mission accomplished.
Now I sit here under the flickering light of mid-afternoon and hear the birds sing joyously to heaven above. The gurgling stream and fluttering butterflies are all synchronized by eternal movement. The endless movement of sound never ceases to amaze me. Its rhythms circulate upon themselves into an utter chaotic symphony. The Earth can never be quiet, nor does it ever want to be. As I try to be still, I feel constant movement. My heart’s beating rhythm sings joyously to the memory of friendship. My soul sighs deeply to the knowing that God’s gift of love through the fish that swim in fluidity gives their life to Earth in which I am thankful I can never be alone. Aloneness is sadness, peace and tranquility, all fluttering and mingling in and out of themselves. It never lasts long as the Earth swallows it up and spits it out into fresh newness of another day to come. Those precious, timeless days become a spring memorialized by the breath of winds blowing outward, stretching onward, touching water, pushing her downward into the life of the fish lurking in the shadows, pulsating, waiting for my fly to pass over, inhaling it to my waiting touch. Thank you black and silver crappie. Your beauty will never go unnoticed.