Blessing the Fleet

April 30, 2007

To follow the drops sliding from a lifted oar,
Head up, while the rower breathes, and the small boat drifts quietly shoreward;
To know that light falls and fills, often without our knowing.

-Theodore Roethke, The Shape of the Fire

You woke to the sound of geese preparing for a mass hatch and molt. The rings on the water’s surface betrayed the fish below. You prepared your raft with freezing hands and a pounding heart. It was a long winter, but you slept under stars last night as the teals whistled you to sleep.

The raft carried you downriver over clear water, whitefish, and otters. Past moose, spruce, and caribou. Above were sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans, goldeneyes, buffleheads, and canada geese. And somewhere ahead were the grayling you dreamed about all winter.

Then she brought you here:

And you brought her here:

What name do you give her? It has to mean something. It has to track as well as she does. It needs confidence. You’ve had a long winter to decide.

In the end, you christened her with a name as perfect as your first day fishing:



  1. That is awesome work The Mad Fishicist!

    A passage from Endless Rivers by Douglass Jungquist:

    “Drifting intently on endless rivers of discovery
    Among singing birds above and smiling fishes underneath
    Within the healing waters of God’s word in verse
    Celebrating renewed life through awakening and rebirth
    Embracing what all pasts have brought to each
    Filled with holy gifts most times unseen
    Bringing all to know, bringing all to see
    Endless rivers of awakening and summary”

  2. Great new blog TMF. Looking forward to your new adventure.

  3. I miss your family so much already I can’t imagine how you stood and or how you’ll stand it til you’re together next week! But great blog–and the lettering on your skiff is fabulous! Happy fishing!

  4. Cool new blog. WordPress is a great platform.

    Do you have an email address I can reach you at? I want to see if you want to join Skinny Moose Media…

    We host you for free and you make a little money on the side. 😉

  5. Grayling! I’m envious now.

    I need to stencil the Meadowhawk’s name on her, too.

  6. cool boat!

  7. Fine work, TMF. This post in particular is smacking me hard in the face to go get my ‘toon out of storage and use it – now.

  8. Thanks for checking in Smithhammer. Themadfishicist and I will be running a tiny creek not far from here tomorrow night. There are dolly varden char running up the creek so I will be running down.

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