The other day my colleague, Danny, spoke of smelt storms. The weather has been very uncertain here lately, and it was his educated guess that the smelts would soon appear in Bass River, so that spring would then settle in for real.
Thank you for that familiar conversation, Danny. It’s the small things that fill large holes in a person’s heart.
The river banks across from Jean Pugsley’s former Athol homestead, will soon be teaming with smelt fishers. They will start bonfires from huge brush piles, and they will literally camp out there, evening after evening, while “the smelts are up”.
And then, as if by magic, the smelts and the fishers disappear. All that remains of this travelling show is smoking bush piles, litter, and greening grass.
Let your soul & spirit fly/ Into the mystic (Van Morrison)
Sometimes life can be compared to a smelt storm. I have been thinking about this a lot lately because I would like to do a series of hooked rugs entitled The Smelt Storms.
When Danny spoke of the unpredictable weather that day, I felt validated and… relieved.
For I had my own clouds blowing in, as they do every spring, from late March until April’s end. It’s disconcerting and unnerving. It’s also my pattern of grieving: the sudden storms and raging, river fires.
The emerging shadow of the smelt run.
It is predictable in its fury, but it carries the promise of spring, and warmer days. It is short-lived. My heart will get righted again, and be that much stronger.
Life does move forward.
And the people I loved for so long and so hard, will stay with me, in the ferociousness of the wind, the shadow of the storm, and the greening of the grass.
And Danny…. have a fabulous retirement!
Love Melissa xo xo