Gerard’s Blog: Nuclear Fishin’

I’m awake early.  Sounds of ocean waves crashing against stubborn granite fill the air.  I’m at home, in the Yukon, far from the ocean.  I pinch myself; yes, I am awake. It’s the new thing, apparently: sound recordings to lull babies to sleep. 

My daughter is here visiting with her baby daughter, so the ocean is pounding through the night at our house.  I wonder if this is not so much about sleep as it is my daughter’s subliminal desire to firmly entrench our Newfoundland heritage into the makeup of the next generation.  Lest we forget… 

Perhaps my daughter secretly wanted a mermaid.  Or a fish?  In any event, if there is a remote chance that sound can influence the genetic composition of the young, then I expect any day now to see scales. But more than anything, the sound is filling me with a yearning.  I’m missing the water.  My boat is in the repair shop and so my Spring fix is being agonizingly postponed.  And, I think this feeling of incompletion is worsened because of the withdrawal from my daily sojourns to the river over the winter. 

I hadn’t realized the paradox, that by fishing for burbot in the winter, I too was being hooked, lured back into distant familiarities.  To fish is to be fished. One notable thing about the Yukon is the dramatic seasonal changes.  And with that comes new perspectives, new activities and new recreational pursuits.  It’s time to put burbot thoughts aside.  Time for trout and grayling.  Time for fresh greens and asparagus and radishes and tomatoes and strawberries.  Time again to roam the forest and munch on spruce trees!

And maybe, when my daughter is unsuspecting, I can expose the next generation to enough Yukon delights such that this too, will forever be as entrenched within her as the sounds of the ocean.

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