OUTDOOR Adventures By Brian G. Schommer As I was leaving the ice at Lake Rebecca the other night, I was greeted by the sound of a flock of Canadian Honkers. As they got closer, their recognizable …
By Brian G. Schommer
As I was leaving the ice at Lake Rebecca the other night, I was greeted by the sound of a flock of Canadian Honkers. As they got closer, their recognizable call became loud and clear. I stopped in my tracks and looked up to see several of them starting to set their wings with intent to land in or near the open water. As the wind whipped past my face, I could not help but appreciate the sights and sounds that were right there in front of me. The flock of geese was only the tip of the iceberg, and based on the falling temperatures that night, you can take that both figuratively and literally.
Before I resumed my trek to the Jeep, that thanks to remote start was warming up, I noticed the brightly lit bridge that spans the Mississippi River in Hastings. The reflection of the structures lighting off the frozen river below extended its glow creating a picture that would be postcard worthy for sure. With my phone buried in my clothing, unfortunately the only photo I captured was the one in my mind. I am still in awe of just how beautiful it was. As the vehicles passed over the bridge, their headlights cast additional beams of light that seemed to generate an additional shima mer with hints of orange and red from their taillights. I could faintly hear the vehicles speeding up or slowing down, depending on which lane of traffic they were in. Within a few minutes, I had been blessed with two very different and equally incredible opportunities.
I got into my vehicle and before pulling out of the parking lot, I gazed towards the shores of the lake and noticed the shadows of a few diehards still out on the ice trying to land a few more fish before calling it a night. The portable icehouse that I was sitting in only minutes before remained well lit from the LED rig inside. My buddy Terry was one of those diehards. I was comforted knowing that he also had his heater going and was able to enjoy a little more time fishing with his son. Spending time with friends doing something we all enjoy seemed to put an exclamation point on this experience which earlier in the day was no more than a chance to get out ice fishing before the cold snap. As the wind continued to howl outside, my attention was once again pulled away to another sight.
There was a very dim light shining about 20 yards to the left of my buddy’s shack. While barely visible to the naked eye, I could see person sitting on a bucket with no shelter who, like the others out on the ice, was just trying to land one last fish. As one who tends to overthink things from time to time, I began to wonder if this person was just another diehard or if it was something more than that. I looked intently at the dim light and said a little prayer that if it was more, that this person would find shelter to stay warm and catch an abundance of fish to keep them fed. The fact is, until we open our eyes, we are not able to see anything and, you can take that both figuratively and literally as well.
We are all given so many opportunities to appreciate just how great life can be, even though sometimes life in general can really, with lack of a better term, suck. Something as simple as seeing and hearing a flock of geese can trigger so many other thoughts. Sometimes, you must take the time to sit back and appreciate the moments for what they are. It is probably not by coincidence that these “ah-ha” moments often happen when outdoors. If life has been handing you lemons lately, maybe it is time to do something to change the course. My suggestion: Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.