Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I Saw the Owl Tonight

I saw the owl tonight. He was resting atop an oak that had died many years ago from fire and age. His silhouette against the fading light emanated both wisdom and curiosity. “Who?” he asked.

 “It is I,” I replied. “A weary angler seeking a brief moment of private contemplation at the end of the day. I come here to the river’s edge to remember the day that is fading and to reminisce about friends and family that no longer walk this earth.”

 The owl moved his gaze away from the river and turned my way. “Who?” he inquired.

 “Far too many to name in one evening,” I told him. “It seems that as time and the river flow old friends pass into memory. I come here to remember them, to refresh my memories and brush away the dust that time has clouded them with.”

 The owl continued to look my way. “Who?” he insisted.

 “Anglers, poets and friends,” I answered.  “People that shaped my life. Elders that shared their experience and wisdom. Friends that shared a journey. All have come to mean so much to me yet time tries to fade their memory like the passing day before us.”

 The owl was silent. He understood my answer and turned to take in the last light of the day.

 “I look forward to the morning,” I said as I stood to leave.  “Another day on the stream and a chance to make new memories. An opportunity to share my gathered wisdom and stories with new friends.”

 “Who?” my feathered friend asked as he turned to watch my departure.

 “I’m not sure,” I replied as I started up the trail “we’ve not yet met.”

 I saw the owl tonight down by the river and we talked of anglers, poets and friends.

This was written in 2008 at the passing of my friend, mentor and ruthless editor, Bob Wethern. Bob was instrumental in getting me to put words on paper, or in this case on my computer. He helped me develop my style of writing and allowed me to grow as a writer. He is truly missed.

I attended an event last evening and someone came to me and told me how much this story meant to them, 8 years after it was written and published. It inspired me to dig it up and share it here. In reading it this morning, the memories flood back of those who have left us far too early. The fond memories of anglers, poets and friends.