I’ve gotten to do many things this year. I went pig hunting in the coastal range of Northern California, in which I unknowingly jumped a mountain lion yards away while my cousin watched from above with interest.
I wrote my second novel, temporarily titled The Surfing Book, which lay in longhand pages across three journals stuffed in my office bookshelf.
I watched my friends surf Capitola, sitting on rocks for hours doing nothing but watching the fluid shapes swell with the tide in slick black suits and gaze at the old couple leaning heads on each other watching the sunset under the ice plant on the shale wall.
I took my kids to Riptide, the Carmel house of friends, and ate too much fresh seafood and got hopped up on mochas at Ghirardelli with them after walking wide-eyed through the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a morning, before touring the National Steinbeck Center and antique shopping in Salinas.
I spent much time with my brother before he died and, he having died, honored his memory soundly surrounded by family in a beautiful California fall.
I took my first serendipitous long-range buck in the pools of the Whitewater. I agitated many pheasants with shotgun blasts echoing across the solemn plains.
Now I sit in frozen winter, having done these things, and stare in disbelief at spring already unraveling past the solstice. I buy a new fly tying vise and materials, hoping to build something for the water that I haven’t built before, a deferred memory of my father’s affinity to angling in cold waters.
The moon looks full outside whether it is fully or not, and I think of the tides it changes, and how my heart swells, and how the most-lost things that lay dormant have the ability to wash up again to come into view.