Writers Weir: Old Salt at Sea

The sun sets on boats in the Egegik district of the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery.

It is early on anchor... we should be up and fishing but the grind of the season, the hours worked, the harvest netted... they have taken their toll on skipper and crew.


I compare it to the passing on of my parents... their long hard lives beaten down until resigned to the notion that, while this life is joyful, there is another full of those you remember, waiting for you.

I am the only one up... sipping coffee... looking out an arch of windows at the sea, the rising sun, and outlines of ships and boats much like our own.

A younger man would be itching to jump through these windows and go in all directions discovering every treasure heard about... but I am older now and content to just gaze wistfully out with the riches pouring from inside my brief stay in this harbored life.

I wonder if you would like me now, after 50-plus years... 50-plus years since we once kissed... we were infants then.

Now I have wrinkles which seem heavy, muscles that appear to weigh me down, eyesight that slowly blurs my focus forward into drifting sleep, and diminished hearing that I welcome as I have become uninterested in listening to the world continue on around me.

There are little pleasures though... and that is what I have found to be the secret of life... no one thing can ever be greater than another; all things are equally interesting and important.

My past turns the corners of my lips up when sneaking into my present morning languish... funny how both the past and present of you can satisfy me.

Through these windows where once I was the rampant youth demanding to get outside, now I am the forgotten grandpa waiting for my little adventures to run to me, to cling and climb up weathered trousers and sit on my mind’s lap so I might see and feel again for the first time each sunrise...


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