Today was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out hunting pheasants!
The sky was clear and blue. The sun was bright and cheery. It was just cold enough outside to make you want to wear a jacket…
Conditions were perfect. Except for one thing:
Oh, we’d seen a hen or two — at a distance. But when you take into consideration all the miles we’d hiked, things had definitely been slow.
It was getting close to lunchtime, so we were all making our way back to the trucks. As for me, I was just kinda ambling along beside my dad; my head was down, my shotgun was drooping, and my feet were definitely dragging through the dead, dry grass along the riverbank.
Heck, even the dogs seemed somewhat tired.
When I glanced up, however, there stood my uncle in front of me. His feet were planted right at the river’s edge, and he just stood there, looking straight into the cold, dark water.
As my dad and I approached, he didn’t really look up, so we followed his eyes to see what he was looking at.
Out in the river, not far from the bank, was a quiet, swirling little eddy. It was nothing big or spectacular, just a small, constantly churning section of water. But there was something mesmerizing about it.
It was almost like staring into the glowing coals of a campfire; you lock eyes on it, and it’s hard to tear them away. You just want to watch it forever. It’s always changing, but it’s never really any different.
I tell ya, standing there watching that little eddy with my dad and my uncle, it was one of those moments you wish you could just grab onto, stick in your pocket, and then pull out again whenever you need a breath of fresh air.
Of course, it wasn’t long before my dog, Ryu, came running up, panting.
He looked up at us, then down at the river, then back at us, then down at the river again. When he finally decided that we weren’t looking at anything exciting, he gave a disgusted little snort, then turned away and continued loping toward the trucks.
That was enough to shake us out of our daydreams.
The three of us re-shouldered our shotguns and started moseying along again.
The rest of the afternoon was just grand. We didn’t get any birds, but we did eventually get back to the trucks and fired up the grill. Then Lindsey and our two little girls joined up with us, along with my aunt — and we all had a fun little picnic/tailgate party.
Again, it was another one of those nice little moments you wish you could bundle up for later.
When it was over, though, we headed home and started working on “projects” again. (Because there’s ALWAYS a project to work on.)
And later on in the evening, as I lay on the cold concrete, changing the oil in our Buick, I couldn’t help but think back on that moment by the river — or the picnic by the trucks. And I found myself wishing for a few more “eddies” in my life — ‘cuz I’m definitely grateful for ’em!