Under a fishing umbrella by the side of a lake in the pouring rain with husband and grandchildren, heaven happens. There is nothing quite so exciting as being at the mercy of the elements but safe! It appeals to our most basic human need for shelter and protection. All our needs are met. We are together, warm and dry and we have a picnic. We are relaxed and at peace. There is nothing we must do but enjoy ourselves. It is a precious gift ~ time to be. Grandchildren learn how to fish. They watch the fluorescent tip of the float marking the place where the line enters the water. The bait of sweetcorn gently drifts in the depths as we throw more corn in to attract the fish. And it does. The float waggles then dips down ~ a bite! Ben gets the landing net ready and Rosie slides the unhooking mat into place. The mat is clean and padded to protect the fish from injury or infection. Gerry reels it in and Ben slips the net into the water and under the fish, gently lifting it clear of the water. It’s heavy, maybe 8lbs. A beautiful mirror carp. It has a golden belly and silver scales along each side of the backbone. The hook slips easily out of its mouth with the help of tiny forceps. The children take a photograph of this beautiful creature then it is placed gently back in the net and returned to the lake. We don’t throw the fish back like the match fishermen. We let it rest in the net for a few minutes then tilt the net so it can swim out safely, unharmed.
The rain stops, ducks settle on the bank. The sun comes out to end the day on a glorious note. The match fishermen leave, but we stay to watch the sun go down. The sky glows golden and the lake glitters. Flies abound and the fish leap up to catch them. Bats swirl around silently. Then huge wings darken the sky as three herons appear over the tree tops. They dominate the lake as they swoop down and help themselves to a fish supper.
It is an amazing sight and all we can do is watch in awe, then write Haiku about it!
Sun sets, fishing stops
Herons hover overhead
Fish glide into reeds