There's a line from one of my favorite movies "Sweet summer rain, like God's own mercy." You know the feeling that comes with a soft summer rain that breaks a hot summer drought. The smell of dirt as it gets wet for the first time in months, the cooling breeze that is so full of water it feels like your skin absorbs it all the way inside, into the core of your being. I stand with eyes closed, face lifted, the rain pelting, delighting in the water running down my face.
This happened yesterday. What a pure pleasure it was. Since there was no thunder, and the rain was a slow soft one, I grabbed a fishing pole and waded off into the river. The water coming up to my knees as clear as it could be, rushing across rock and gravel.
Down the river to a favorite fishing hole, taking my time, smelling the gorgeous smells of a freshly wet earth, hearing the soft sounds of rain on the river and in the high trees along the banks. Feeling that coolness in every pore. My eyes relaxed in the soft light.
I cast out. These river fish love a stippled surface in this clear water. I get a hit and I set the hook. It feels like I am snagged on a log - but there are no logs where I am fishing, so I set it again, hard.
Then the fish bursts into an absolute frenzy, no longer feeling like a stodgy log, coming up to the surface and launching it's entire body up into the air - a Large Mouth Bass - a green and black monster with his bucket mouth wide open, shaking as hard as he can. He splashes back down with a huge galumph and disappears beneath the surface.
The fight is on, really on. This one, I'm half afraid, will wrest the rod from my hands. I tighten my grip. The fly line sings out against the drag and my clamping finger, the bass surges hard and I lay the rod over, use it's length and suppleness to turn the bass back, it surges the other way and I lay the rod the other way. He does several large figure eights out there, slowly tires. I bring him in a little and he sees me and fights hard again, but briefly. He is tired now, really tired, ready to handle.
I bring him in quickly, lip him, remove the hook and raise him up to eye level for just a second to gauge his size and weight. A monster but under ten pounds. Possibly nine, more likely eight. Gorgeous colors, excellent health. I slip him back into the water and he swims towards my legs as though seeking cover, then away from me until he is out of sight.
I stop fishing. This one is enough, I don't need more than this. It's already a day so good that I can hardly contain it. I wade back up the river with a feeling of being years younger than when I waded down. A real spring in my step.
Soft summer rain.