A Night of Solitude on the River

It’s 2 am and I am alone on the river. There is no moon and the night sky is black as ink. I hear the crackle of the campfire and the sound of the river as it makes its way across the rocks in the shallow rapids before finding its way into deeper water. Bam! A beaver slaps its tail on the water warning others that there is an intruder in their domain.

Yip! Yip! Yip! I can hear the coyotes on the other side of the river making their way along the river bank. The lightning bugs illuminate the darkness with their blinking tails. As a child they reminded me of airplanes against the night sky with their blinking lights.

The bull frogs had been eerily quiet tonight but the deep bass croak of a bullfrog begins to resonate throughout the river valley followed by the scream of a screech owl.

With the soothing sound of Mother Nature’s symphony I begin to relax and I let my mind wander. I wonder if there was someone camped on this very spot 250 years ago. Perhaps a Native American or a settler. Were they fishing or just passing through? Were they in search of a place to settle or were they making their way to the mighty Mississippi? How much different it must have been. No litter or tires along it’s banks. How clear the water must have been. Were they as mesmerized by the beauty of the river as I am? Did they enjoy the peace and solitude? Were they alone too?

I am brought back to the present by a ruckus behind me. I turn around and in the darkness I could discern five figures in the darkness. It appears to be a mother raccoon and her offspring. She seems to be scolding one of the youngsters. Maybe it had ventured too close to me and she was worried about its safety. They soon moved on in search of food.

I readied my bedroll and crawled inside it as the desire for sleep won over the marvels of the nighttime. I lay looking into the night sky watching for a shooting star but there would be none tonight. The smells of the river were crisp tonight. The smell of the river and the campfire were the most prominent and complimented each other. I begin drifting off playing the days events back in my mind. At the same time I wondered what tomorrow would bring. Would I catch my personal best smallmouth or would it just be a day of photography? As sleep began to overtake me I was one with the river rooted in my safe place. A place of peace and tranquility. A place to recharge my soul and mind and cleanse my spirit. Life is good. I am on the river.

9 thoughts on “A Night of Solitude on the River

  1. You have taken us all to the river as I can smell the campfire and here the critters as you described them wondering about…. What a wonderful, soulful place to be and I hope you were able to fish after a restful night while you were there. Thanks for sharing, beautiful post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy tears. I love how the images, senses, and emotions put into your words, come out touching and often awakening every one of my senses. Taking me with you by the river at 2am. Or any time, I appreciate so much your sharing and taking us with you. For sharing your memories and special moments. My soul thanks you.


  3. Wow, I phoned you moments ago to catch up. Left a voice mail. Decided next to log on to your blog and there you are–on the river! So happy for you! I’ve been cooped up in the studio for weeks, happy in my work but so missing the wilderness. Thank you for your colorful descriptions of the night. What mystique surrounds you in that sacred space!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought of you the other day. I was cutting firewood and was taking a break when I had a gray lizard and a blue tailed lizard came right up the tree I was sitting on and stopped 6 inches from me. Thanks to you a REALLY looked at these two and watched them for 20 minutes. It was amazing. Thank you!


      • You nearly made me teary with a smile. I am honored that you, states away, randomly thought of us! I began lizardplanet with a goal to convert the masses to love lizards too, to understand they are companions, not mindless critters or pests to fear …. maybe I’m doing something right. : ) I THANK YOU for the thoughts & for telling me. I am glad you all hung out like that together. You had good company near your soon-to-be campfire.

        Liked by 1 person

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