So, how long has it been since you took time to gaze at the clouds? No, I don’t mean sticking your head out the door to check the weather. I mean really taking time to lie down on your back and spend time watching the cloud formations.
Frankly, for me it had been quite a long time since I had done that. Sure I have taken the time to ponder the wonder of some splendid sunsets, but not cloud gazing like we did as kids. But yesterday it happened.
Having had a couple weeks of relentless soggy weather here in Washington, the weather report predicted that yesterday was to be a day of “mixed-cloud but nice”. So yesterday morning I decided to walk across the street and invite our neighbor Tom to go fly-fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout down on the Hood Canal. The Hood Canal is anything but a canal. It is a huge body of water which is a fjord making up one of the major lobes of the huge Puget Sound.
I knew Tom was a fly-fisherman but we have never fished together. I also knew he had not fished in Washington for at least a year. I had to complete a few morning chores so we left at eleven-ish. An hour later we were rigging up our fly rods and started walking the shore, wading up to our knees, and casting for unseen fish. At one end of the shore was an oyster bed where several people were out harvesting both oysters and clams. As the day warmed up to about 60 degrees and more people came to harvest, the energy from the sun and blue sky was palpable in the voices of the various digging figures on the beach.
Tom and I were at first fishing fairly close together. He was the first to rise a couple of fish. I could tell his enthusiasm was piqued and I began to guess that he would be doing this again soon.
After about an hour, I decided to walk to the far end of the beach and fish off a point. As soon as I began casting, I found fish. It is always nice to let the beautiful critters return to their watery home, and at the same time abide by the law. It is a mandatory rule catch and release fish area.
A while later Tom came up the beach and joined me. I shared one of my “special” flies and he was excited to try it. Casting about 50 feet from me, it was on his second cast that the weighted fly snagged something on the bottom. Tom had no choice but to break off the “special” fly. I knew he felt badly, but I tried to assure him that I would just tie up another one when I got home.
He walked up the inclined shore behind me to sit on a log and tie on a replacement fly. Having been walking on uneven rocks in the water now for a couple hours, I decided to take a break and join him. I lay down on the warm sand and propped my head up on the water warn log.
Within a few moments Tom assumed the same position. At that point these two 70-year-old BOYS began pointing out cloud formations. “Look, there is an anteater” I said. Tom followed with, “well over there is a shrimp…and look, there is a jellyfish”.
We carried on with this process for probably 30 minutes and both realized it had been way too long a gap in our lives since we were last cloud gazing.
I challenge you to let your inner “boy” or “girl” get out there and gaze a bit. It is some of the best free entertainment you can find. And after all, who knows it could be raining tomorrow.