Thanks to my father, I’ve stood knee-deep in rivers since I could walk. The peace and solace of fly fishing has taught me far more about Life than “formal education” could ever impart. Allow me to share a little piece of my soul’s watery journey…
It Takes A River
— Teryl “T” Johansson 2004
Sometimes it takes a river
to unwrap the odd gift
of a human life,
yet ribbon by ribbon
by river’s sliding silver rift,
the precious package comes untied.
In the soft fog of an endless becoming,
some find it hard to know when
the slippery path is finally underfoot,
except in watery reflection.
Beneath the shadow of a sky-bound pine
one easily forgets― all grandeur springs
from a tenacious tangle of tiny roots
far beneath the surface of things.
Only when a river swallows half of me,
can I, at last, remember…
There are many ways to find our face
and learn our truest name,
but the purest, surest way perhaps
is to stand alone in fluid silence.
How much has been retrieved
on wisp of feather riding breeze,
settled still on morning glass!
How many breathless hours
bequeathed to rising trout,
but keen excuse for wading farther out
toward shadowy realms
in search of me!
If ever I knew a soulful friend,
it surely was the wily Brown
who pulled me deep and held me there
long enough to finally drown
all I was supposed to be…
Oh, sacred gift of primal gill and fin,
loan me just one borrowed hour
to swim beyond these mortal shores,
set a weary spirit free!
God knows it takes a river…