Stillness in the cold

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”  Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It)

I’m about to step into a river rushing by at 249 cfs. The ambient temperature is 42 degrees.  I can feel the strong current hit my leg from the west as I step in.  I slip my polarized sunglasses on to better see where I’m going.  It’s rocky underneath, so I cautiously progress forward; the cold air embracing me. My fly rod in my right hand and my eyes cast downward as I step.  I can feel the loneliness of the river as she welcomes me.  Two become one as I move further from the banks.

I have shared my love for the meditative qualities of fly fishing before with you.  I love the stillness that I experience while I’m out on the water.  Nothing, but me, the water, the action of the fly rod…it’s blissful.

Steadying the mind is one goal of meditation, but this practice can be trying when combating the noisy, ever present, conscious mind.  How is it that I can reach this stillness so quickly when I’m fly fishing?

It simple.  I become single-minded; nothing else in my awareness but what I’m doing.  This is the gift I receive from fly fishing.  This is what calls me to the river.

So I answer the call and slip silently into my watery world…still, quiet, free.

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