A Young Man, Not Full 17 – Ryan Tyndall

There’s a tinge of trout in the breeze that sweeps my line away from the water. Bear Country isn’t as scary in a park, yet the tall grass on either end of the bank doesn’t give me the reassurance I’m looking for. 

The mist just gave way to the purple sunrise over that ever-flowing river. A stream of life so precious that I have come to try my luck with it. As my spinner sinks once more into that river, I look around again just in case… 

I pull up and get no reaction. Too much tension means a stuck line. No matter, I was done anyway. The freshly sharpened blade pricks the line, and all is forgiven. A lure gone and less line than I started with… a small price to pay for the bliss of calm. 

As the V8 fires up, I turn on my heated seat and travel further into this symbol of an untamed America, a place of great expanse and natural authority unlike any crowded road, bike lane, or bustling building. To the West, a bubbling sea of geysers and cliffs, to the East, a lush forest housing an impressive lake. I go North, to where the Bison play and where the trout jump fat. 

A narrow bend in the river declares itself promising. Behind it, a blonde field opens up the scene to a movie I’ve never viewed: glistening sunshine and complete emptiness. Once the gravel and dust settle down, I’ve already hiked to the river which awaits my attention. The trout wobble by my line as I practice my patience. It takes a lot out of me to say it, but I had to stop at some point. 

Nibbles, not bites. Missed opportunities, not realities. This was the outcome of my excursion. Nowhere to go except to my campsite empty-handed. The beauty of it all lingers in my vision as I turn onto that straight, two-lane road. A sunset winks across those tall jagged peaks as a stream full of the treasure I sought laughs, for they live another day. All I can do is laugh along, for I have finally lived a day.