Reflections from Patagonia

The Song of Wandering Aengus

“I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head, 
And cut and peeled a hazel wand, 
And hooked a berry to a thread; 
And when white moths were on the wing, 
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout...
 Watching the Simspon river flow, before the evening hatch in Patagonia Chile. 

Watching the Simspon river flow, before the evening hatch in Patagonia Chile. 

Rainbow colors reflect the evening water at hatch time on the Simpson River in Patagonia-Chile at Los Torreones Lodge.

For many of us the closest thing to a spiritual experience we have is being alone on the water with fly rod in hand.

For others, it’s major life events-- turning 50, 60, or 70 or more. Watching children be born or parents pass on, loved ones be taken by illness, grandchildren flourish or fail, health come and go-- the promotion, the product launch, the firing :the law degree, or medical mishap. It seems even our dreams elude us, or are at best ephemeral, while drama sticks like a tick on a dog’s ear. 

How does one find peace amidst the natural turmoil of life?

We forget an essential thing.

The quiet moment. The time to reflect.

How often I’ve noted my happiness, sense of wonder, and yes, even accomplishment fade, just beyond the grasp of my fingertips as I text and pound out a message of all consuming urgency into my iphone.

River currents, passing clouds over Patagonia pampa, white moths, and rising silver trout seem to do for perspective, what the march of time does to angler and non angler alike, invite reflection.

Yeats nailed it of course.

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.