Earlier this week I woke to find a slight hint of fog blanketing the field behind our house. The sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon and the edge of the clouds was painted a brilliant orange mixed with gold. The sounds of nature greeted my ears as I opened the door and took in the sweet smell of springtime in the country.
It brought back memories of sitting in the morning stillness -- on the shoreline or in a canoe -- waiting for that first strike on whatever bait I had chosen to use to start the day. At times the fish were cooperative and the day started with an explosion on a top water popper or the steady pull of a bass trying to sneak away with a jig held in firmly in his mouth. Some mornings, the bites were few and far between -- sometimes nearly non-existent.
But it didn't matter. The beauty of an early spring fishing trip is not dependent upon putting fish in the live well or releasing them after an exhilarating fight.
It's in the surroundings; it's in the smells of spring and the warmth of the sun and the ancient connection with the elements and nature herself; it's in the fellowship with others, or fellowship with peaceful surroundings, or fellowship with one's inner self; it's in the moments spent in quiet introspection.
Actually, you don't have to be fishing -- or doing any activity at all - to enjoy a sunrise on the lake, or a night in the woods, or an afternoon on the trail leading up to some majestic overlook in the mountains. For those who seek it, there is plenty of inspiration to go around.
And I find that much of it is right there in our own back yards.