As the snow melts and temperatures rise the state of Minnesota is becoming increasingly more pleasant. Birds call, the mud is squelchy, and outdoors it smells like rich soil and growing things instead of empty stale coldness. I love snow but the variety is lovely.
This post is going to be a little bit random (but we’ll start with fly fishing; last week I had a lesson from Newfriend Luke.)
Here are some things I am starting to learn about fly fishing (please realize that I actually know almost nothing about fly fishing still, and if you are trying to educate yourself you would do well to find someone else):
1. Flies are tiny and beautifully intricate, or else large and foamy with googly eyes, and either way they require the creator to know something about the needs, wants, and psychology of the fish brain, and usually entomology.
2. In addition to all of this knowledge of fish psychology, fly fishing requires a number of other skills, such as: casting a line far and straight; deciding where the fish will be; maneuvering your line in such a way so as not to be suspicious; untangling fishing line from grasses; untangling line from shrubs; untangling line from rocks; untangling line from tree branches; untying knots; balancing on muddy slopes.
3. It’s very pleasant to spend a few hours squelching around in the mud in bright spring sunshine with a creek running by and birds in the trees.
4. Coaster brook trout, spotted on top and all gorgeous pink underbellies, are patient and lovely. Luke caught two and we released them. One, in its confusion and with a hook through its lip, wound its line around a sunken log in the water, so I waded in (knee-deep in mud and an icing layer of running water) and managed to free him. I like the feeling of their strong shimmering bodies in hand and I like watching them swim away. I realize that is not the point of fishing.
5. As we left, I said, “Shoot, I just realized I don’t even have a fishing license.” Luke, diplomatically, said, “It’s okay. I don’t think the fish were very threatened by your presence.”
So I like fly fishing a lot.
Today’s a Liz day. I’ve met a lot of amazing people here so far (if any of you are reading this, thanks for being so cool) and the last week has been full of new and old friends and fun activities (a grill out where we got the fire department called on us (no worries, it ended well); salsa dancing; a long and fascinating conversation on the cost of energy; a visit to Wisconsin with the fabulous Alina; a hike by a raging waterfall; watching hockey over a couple of cold beers; seeing new places) but today I need to chill out and enjoy my own company, I think. I’m going to plant some more seeds and keep prepping the soil for our backyard garden, which I’m very excited about. Planting a garden feels like making a piece of art. It’s creative and complicated and beautiful and productive. And I’m going to walk around barefoot in the dirt and listen to music and drink some red wine.
(Edit: After much planting and music listening and quiet time, the “Liz is chilling out day” ended with several hours traipsing through Minneapolis with a clever group of people, editing bar’s Jenga games and trying microbrews and dancing to loud music, but I am not at all mad about that.)
There are people and places out there I miss so much. Friends I wish were sitting next to me. Stories I wish I were listening to and laughing at. And there’s the loss of Levi, which still storms into me so frequently. But here I sit, content on this warm and overcast April day.