A few hours ago I was fishing with Mr. W. Okay, he was fishing and I was sitting, and thinking, and dreaming with my eyes open. Mr. Wonderful is also Mr. Outdoors. I am Ms. Matinee. Now, I like being outside - like walking in the woods (equates to strollllling in the woods) - like things that start with C - camping, canoe rides, campfires, and watching for shooting stars while sitting by the campfire, reading by the campfire, writing by the campfire, sleeping by the campfire - but Mr. W. is the one that packs the gear, packs the car, puts up the tent, builds the fire, cooks the food, and protects me from the bears and rattlesnakes.
Now I am fishing with Mr. W. when he decides the big fish are in a pond that is adjacent to the perfectly good water we are cruising in and that we need to travel through weeds and algae and get over into the other pond. So, he did catch and release many big, fat bass there a week ago. Okay. Fine.
This is the way that it goes. You know the canoe is going to get stuck, don't you? You can see this happening. And of course, it does. And husband gets out and is walking in this dark water and pulling the canoe along (with me in it) in the middle of things floating and crawling all around him and I am thinking - Oh, My hero! this reminds me of the African Queen and he's Humphrey Bogart in the swamp pulling the boat and I'm Katherine Hepburn in the boat doing nothing but being great at being K.H. and looking upset for him. Then I hear these words, "Get out."
"Get out. You have to get out and walk."
I look at the black water, teeming with unknowables and weeds and floating clumps of stuff and suddenly I'm no longer Katherine Hepburn (doesn't she stay in the boat? I don't remember Kate getting out of the boat in the swamp water!) but instead I am now suddenly channeling Miss Piggy going 'MOI?' MOI get out of the boat? But Kermie!'
But husband isn't thinking about The African Queen or the Muppets. He is thinking about FISH and I don't have to ask him what he is thinking to know this. So I get out of the boat and step into the cold, dark water with things all around me and my flip - flops (okay- I'm a Florida girl, I own 'em, I wear 'em and I like 'em) stick in the bottom of the yuck-muck and I say, "But my feet are stuck and they can't get up,' and he says, "Then you'll have to walk barefoot like me."
Oh, yeah right. Sure. Like, I'm going to do that! But I am determined to keep those shoes on and I pull them up with only the greatest effort and you would have to try to walk with your flip-flops in the yuck-muck in the dark, cold water to know what that feels like. So I'm saying some words under my breath and Mr. Wonderful says, "Now, whose not being a good little trooper ?" (This is his way of encouraging me.) And I'm walking - kinda while lamenting "Oh, yes I am," I say, and pull my foot up with all my might with a great sloooop swooosh, look for snakes in the dark to the left "Yes I AM' Pull other foot up with a great slooop swoosh, look for snakes in the dark to the right, "You just don't know what a great little TROOPER I am being right now!!!!!
Then we get back in the canoe and I look for leaches - on me - and we proceed to move off towards this great Tolkien lagoon. Don't tell me that ponds don't have lagoons. This Pond had a lagoon and in the moonlight the entire place took on this very other-worldly Tolkienish ambiance. Something about the moon, the water, the trees and the dead branches which must have been where all the fish hid all night long. A mist hanging over the water. Crickets and cadydids and bullfrogs and my man and a shooting star.
One long, slow meteor traveling across the sky. Just a little piece of stardust blazing by. But it makes my heart - sing.
And in this strange little pond hidden just beyond the mud and water reeds, I wonder and believe and wish like a child.