Great Outdoors by James Murray. (File photo)

Great Outdoors by James Murray. (File photo)

Column: White Lake provides welcome relief from other present day realities

The Great Outdoors/James Murray

Who could have ever predicted the past year, and what does this coming year have in store for us?

All I know is that we live in a different world, one where we have to worry and cling to hope more than ever before, not to mention social distance and self-isolate.

I can’t even watch the news on television anymore.

We can be thankful that we live here in the Shuswap and not in so many other places around the world. Even with the new vaccines coming out I can’t help but feel things are going to get worse before they get better.

So it was with these thoughts in mind that the other day I decided to take a ride out to White Lake. When I got there, I sat down on a rock near the water’s edge and took in a great big breath of fresh air. It felt good. Somehow the air out at a lake is different than anywhere else. It’s more refreshing, more invigorating, more scented with all the wonders of nature and more alive with promise. I suppose a mountain climber would say the same about the air at the top of a mountain, and a sailor about the ocean spray. But for me it’s out at the lake – pretty well any lake.

I continued to breath in the cool, crisp winter air and sat there listening to all the silence. It was like music swirling around me. I shut my eyes and imagined I was somewhere far away and long ago. I let the silence wash over me like waves out on the ocean. It made me think of the John Masefield poem, I Must Go Down To The Sea Again. Maybe I’ll write a poem and call it: I Must Go Out To The Lake Again.

Read more: Column: A puzzle, wrapped in a box, inside a tradition

Read more: Column: Looking forward to a little self-isolating at the lake

The sound of a songbird singing and twittering away among the reeds entered into my silence. For a brief moment, I thought if I opened my eyes it might be spring and the grass and trees would be green, and all the promise and potential of the new year would begin to unfold in front of me. Deep down inside I knew it was only the first week of January and we still had another three long months of cold and snow ahead of us. But I held on tightly to my hope. I sat there for the longest time with my eyes shut, enjoying my imaginary coming of spring.

When I finally did open my eyes, things actually did feel a bit better – in spite of the cold and snow. Things can only get better I thought to myself, and besides, spring isn’t really all that far off. I also knew I was only kidding myself, but like I said, it made me feel better – at least for a little while.

Looking back, I hardly went fishing at all last year. We were asked not to travel and to avoid contact with people outside of our immediate social bubble. I know I missed out on two sturgeon fishing trips to the Lower Mainland.

Maybe when spring does come, I’ll head on up to the lake and rent a cabin for a week or two. I can cook and read and do as little as humanly possible except cast my line to eagerly awaiting fish. I can’t think of a better way to social distance and self-isolate.

I washed my hands of politics many years ago, and it does seem to me that over the past year especially, the line between faith and reason has become somewhat blurred. So it is a good thing that we still have hope to cling to – and I can only hope that this coming year is better than the last.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fishing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

Barley Station Brewpub’s owners Stu and Kathy Bradford and longtime head chef Wally Bonn celebrated 15 years in business on Saturday, Jan. 23. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)
Snapshot: Salmon Arm’s Barley Station Brewpub celebrates 15th year in business

The highwayside pub is lookign forward to the future.

The Salmon Arm Elks Lodge kept up their charitable giving despite COVID-19 restrictions by holding a successful 50/50 draw. (Jim Elliot-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Elks support charitable giving with succesful 50/50 draw

The winner of the draw took home over $4,000.

Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison is comfortable waiting his turn to be vaccinated for COVID-19, as per the B.C. government’s updated vaccination timeline released on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (File photo)
Province’s vaccine timeline a shot of hope for Salmon Arm mayor

Mayor Alan Harrison sees majority of residents taking precautions against COVID-19

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swan and eagle numbers

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

Most Read