The canyon walls tower over me, surrounding me, closing in on me, and the swift, icy, water rushes on and on. I can feel my heart quicken as the claustrophobia sets in. My legs begin to shake. My heart races and I have to place a steadying hand on a nearby rock so I don’t fall into the deadly current.
I close my eyes to shut out the swirling madness and take deep, calming, breaths. I can feel my heart begin to slow. I can feel my legs grow solid again. But, the thoughts of danger and fear continue to race unchecked through my mind.
My eyes shoot open, needing to see, needing to know that the walls aren’t tumbling down upon me, and I see the light cascading into the river valley. It is beautiful. It is majestic. It makes me wonder if that was what he saw the first time he fished this river all those years ago. Was he touched by its beauty? Was he made aware of its magic?
Thinking of my grandfather, the first in our family to fish the river, my thoughts join my heart in a renewed sense of calm. He was a rock, like the rock I’m using to steady my balance. He was a force to be reckoned with, like the river carving its way ever deeper into the earth. He learned long ago to live in peace with the wild, and he passed that down the generations.
Filled with strength, I continue down the treacherous rocky ground to reach the edge of the river. Once there, I swing my pole back and forth, letting the fly taste the air, getting the arc and timing of the release poised, once, twice, three times and then I let the fly and line loose.
I smile. I smile for the cast. I smile for the tradition. I smile for my brother, my father, my mother, my uncles, my cousins, my grandfather. I smile for my son, who will one day fish the river too.
And then I reel in the line, teasing the fly across the pool. The torrent swirls passed. The canyon walls peer over my shoulder. I can feel its eyes, along with those of all my relatives who have ever and who will ever fish the river urging me on, helping guide my hand.
Here fishy, fishy…
This is another of moi’s Picture Writing Challenge prompts that I missed when it was published. Again, I don’t think he is going to mind that I’m responding a bit late. I doubt he’d mind if you played along too. So, what do you see? Write it, link it, post it!