Southwest of the bog...
It was quiet all around me with only an occasional sound from the wind or a yelp from the herons which I'd come to see. Bundled up in layers of clothes along with water boots, I turned off my iphone as to not disturb nature. I watched and waited, hoping to see the dance of the great blue herons mating. I saw one pick up a branch from a nest, drop it, then pick up another one and fly off. I thought to myself, "it’s close..."
Herons and egrets present sticks to the one that tickles their fancy during courtship and nesting. It’s like a man bringing a woman flowers...the sticks are gifts and a show of affection. Herons don’t mate for life so this is a yearly ceremony. I’m eager to see it in full display.
I thought about my life today and said aloud, “I cannot believe it.” How blessed I am. I reflected over how time flies and the gentleness and grace of God. Experience and age changes us but He is the conductor of life's orchestra: the beginning and the end. I said again out loud, “ I never thought I’d see and do the things I’ve been privileged to see and do these past few years. I never even imagined it.” I’ve been immeasurably showered over by my husband’s generosity in allowing me to pursue the things I feel passionate about. I hardly ever put down my camera and I thrive on crazy abstract adventures, especially on rivers and in the woods. I am not well liked by most but to my husband I know I am his whole world. This is a delicate and sacred knowledge and my own heart is full of flowers every day.
Many years of my own life were about survival. They were unstable years, stained with much sin that haunted me with deep sorrow. For years I cried because I knew that as a mother of three children I had not had the wisdom or strength to give them what they deserved. It was only when I met my husband that he provided a sanctuary and a home. Together we gave them our best, together we sought the Lord, and together we attempted to fill their brains with His truth before they left our home. In a way it was a crash course in parenting and priorities as we worked to make up for lost time.
I turned away from friendships then so that I could look to God alone, ignoring others' opinions about right and wrong. I needed time to work through all the feebleness and the grandiose, “there are many truths” mindsets which are so pervasive in today's society. I did have friends who I loved and adored. It was they that helped me to get by many tragic crossroads in my life. For that I will always smile when I think about them. I found, though that I didn’t want their truths I wanted “THE truth.” I spent several years reading the Bible word by word, line by line, verse and chapter by chapter, book by book,(I still do). I also studied doctrine, theology, church history, cults, progressivism, Catholicism, dispensation, Calvinism and the likes. Name it, I’ve likely studied it. I discovered that to be an intellectual one does not have to be an academic.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Though I continue to examine the Bible, I also have entrenched myself to nature and Gods creation. I find it fascinating. I recall thinking last year as I was embedded with Canada geese, how anyone could possibly believe in evolution. Evolution is about evolving but geese are practically perfect. Herons, on the other hand are predators and they look like dinosaurs. Sarcastically, I wonder if that’s why so many people like them. I like them too. They’re beautiful, graceful and like all things, they are Gods handiwork. I know I’ll learn something and I am looking forward to that.
"Only one who has learned much can fully appreciate his ignorance. He knows so well the limits of his knowledge and how much lies waiting to be learned."
There was a wet snow falling on me as I stood high on the rocks along the bank of the river.
Earlier I had been to a sandwich shop and found out from a fisherman that they were putting up the nets to catch the alewives. For some reason I thought they did that in May, not in April. My curiosity was peeked and I drove over to walk the paths high above the water with my camera around my neck and protectively tucked into my coat.
I am not a people person but I have a longing to learn new things. Gaining knowledge of something drives me, I think that is why I love the outdoors and wildlife so much.
As I stood watching, I thought to myself "Who in their right mind would stand in the cold and be this excited?" I glanced up the river and saw two fishermen hanging nets. They were dressed like lobsterman in boots, hats and warm clothing. It was very interesting to me to see how much work it was for them to hang and secure their equipment. Mind you it was wet, overcast, and snowing.
To the left of me I heard some younger boys come down another path. They were carrying small hand held nets, smoking cigarettes and dressed in jeans, unzipped jackets, baseball hats, and all weather boots.
They put down their gear and came my way. After a nice conversation they informed me that they were fishing "blind." Which meant they couldnt see the fish. Apparently they drag their hand held nets in and out of the water to get whatever they can catch.
I asked them questions. They explained that the alewives run mostly during high tide. The fishermen usually come to gather their haul during low tide. Sometimes they stay throughout the day, checking and adjusting their gear.
After they left I kneeled down on a rock and drew my camera out, using it like binoculars. I focused up and down the river. It was pretty cool taking a closer look at all the netting on both sides of the banks. I felt wound up with anticipation, imaging how the river anglers must be feeling too, preparing for their season. It's a tough way to make a living. In a way it's an honor for me to witness, as the wife of a seafaring husband. Like my husband, these men work hard, they likely sacrifice long hours to get the job done. Like my husband who is an engineer, these fishermen work with their hands. There is no glory and no glamour. It's dirty, it's messy, and it requires concentration and quick thinking. I so admire those who I like to say are, "working for a living."