Whip Finish


R.E. Long - xxx, 2019

When it comes to time on the water I am admittedly a solitary animal. At times out of necessity, but more often than not, by choice. There is a portion of time that requires solitude in order to recharge that which makes me tick. It’s almost as if the water is an outlet, and my legs are the two prongs of a power cord. Yet, for something in which I feel so definitively, it is unbelievably hard to express in words. Water brings my thoughts to the most honest point in my existence. Alone I contemplate my most concerning issues, my deepest fears, my greatest moments and my epic fails. I consider the many gifts life has provided, the countless times I have failed myself in regret for something needed but not attempted, or those things somehow missed in moments of distraction that are forever unable to be revisited and corrected. Water and solitude are what takes me there. The feeling of water moving against my legs is a catalyst for so much of what my mind requires.

Oddly enough, most of what I reflect on are special moments shared on the water with friends and family. Fish caught and the smiles brought forward long before the face ever turns toward the camera. Those are the moments that remain etched forever in the back of my mind. First fish with my kids that made me smile even larger than them. The small uncontrollable shouts on a hookup, that says that particular moment in their lives is permanent. Friends you can share water with while barely speaking to each other for an entire day, yet leaving the water feeling like you had an unbelievable day fishing together. An unexplainable fact, though the connection shared is very real. Netting a fish while feeling more anxiety about losing it then the fishing partner holding the rod. All memories of water shared with others.

Maybe…..the solitude is not required for the sake of needing to be alone? Quite possibly, it is the time spent fishing with others that requires it. While alone, your mind has the time and space to replay those most important moments. Allowing it to process and edit that in which you hold close. Leaving you, in essence, never alone while standing in water.

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