Column: Finding balance and freedom from troubles on the water

Column: Finding balance and freedom from troubles on the water

Great Outdoors by James Murray

With the coming of warmer weather and summer being not all that far off, I once again find myself wanting, no longing, to pack my gear and head out to fish the runs and riffles of any one of a number of the rivers and streams here in our province.

It’s hard to explain, but at this time of year there is some primordial instinct that is stirred within of me, a deep-seated desire to be standing on the banks of a river or stream somewhere, anywhere, casting a line to a momentary streak of silver moving through the waters. I look forward to just standing there, breathing in the cool, crisp morning air, feeling the sun on my face, looking around and enjoying the sense of camaraderie that comes with standing and casting a line with fellow anglers – sharing with them the experience so many anglers have shared before us.

I cannot help but feel a connection with both the river and the past.

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I feel good when I am on the river. I feel alive. Things somehow seem to make more sense. Personal problems and complicated situations become, well, simpler and less important. Things tend to fall into place.

All I know is that when I’m on the river, casting my line, many of the burdens of life just seem to be lifted from my shoulders. For those few but precious hours I am able to leave my worries behind – and, quite simply, not give a damn.

When I’m on the river I feel as though there is a balance to my life – not at all dissimilar to the balance of nature I have witnessed where individual creatures live and die, and nature itself is continuously in the state of rebirth and regeneration.

What I truly do know for sure is that when I’m fighting a fish, it’s just me and the fish, locked in a primordial struggle. Sometimes I win the struggle, sometimes the fish wins, not unlike the struggle the whole world is in right now. I can only hope we win.

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Outdoors and Recreation