License to fish
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; but teach a man to fish and he’s sustained for a lifetime.”
Such is the wisdom of aid agencies around the world. And such is the wisdom of leading all of us to water when we seek something to sustain us. “Gone fishin’” is a remedy for the soul, as much as the table.
We read that this weekend Portland offers the First Annual Life Happens Outside Festival and Saturday is National Dog Day. The Midcoast and its trails and waterfront beckon. So it’s a simple step from desk to dock – as if you needed one as the days of August dwindle down.
But diving a little deeper – whether by sinker or streamer – all those aphorisms take on new meaning. There IS so much more beneath the surface when you stop to watch the concentric rings rippling out on what just moments ago was a still patch of water. Have you ever been out early on the dock, just as the dawnland was earning its reputation, to watch the fish breakfasting? Subtle streaks and eddies on the surface signal the arriving school (no bright yellow buses for these little ones!) and then the mysterious Charybdis starts flashing with silver sides.
There are many charter captains and guides eager to help you explore the ichthyologic deeps around Boothbay. (Of course you can fish right from our dock.) And even the Salt Water Maine website observes, quite magically we think, that “This is very pretty country dotted with numerous islands, where the forest extends right down to the shorelines and we routinely see ospreys, bald eagles and seals. Very often we find out best fishing just yards from the shoreline where you can smell the spruce and hear the squirrels.”
You need no fishing license for this; except to accept the assignment of stopping what you’re doing to go out and look (your four-footed companion will be happy to follow). Life does, indeed, happen outside.