I didn't post anything yesterday. Not because I don't love this country. I do love it. Not because I'm saddened by the direction this country has taken. I am. I didn't post anything because I was out celebrating in my own way.
Shouldn't be a big surprise that I went fishing.
It was quiet for the most part. Someone was shooting off fireworks in broad, albeit rainy, daylight. Across the inlet from me, a young family was swimming and I could hear the little girl encouraging her daddy to swim across the river and him joking back with her about doing it. (He didn't. It's a pretty wide river with lots of boat traffic.) A couple locals stopped to tow a defunct golf cart away and reminded me to leave some fish for other people to catch.
I was fishing at the boat ramp, so I had to stop every now and then when people wanted to put their boats in or take them out. It was a new spot for me and the fishing was pretty awesome. Caught a bunch of nice bluegills. I was throwing them back until I caught a couple that swallowed the hook and wouldn't have survived anyway. In the end, I came home with those two. And wished I hadn't thrown back the huge honkers I'd already tossed. Hub filleted the two I brought home - because that's the kind of guy he is.
At one point, I noticed a slow moving boat with a guy in it. He seemed to be watching me fish, which was fine by me. He obviously wasn't fishing right then, which was a little weird, but to each his own. Then I noticed he was wearing a uniform. DNR dude. Cool. I expected him to stop and ask to see my license. He didn't. He just rounded the corner into the river proper and sped away. Guess he had bigger fish to fry.
I have a license, btw. $12 and I can fish as many times as I want to all year long. And as long as I stick to the size and amount limits, I'm kosher. I threw back an 11 inch bass for just that reason. Oh, and as long as I don't catch trout. Those are an extra fee and a special stamp.
I don't mind the rules. They're there for a reason. Smart fishing means we'll have plenty of fish for years to come. Even if the length limit on bass wasn't 15", I'd throw smaller than that back anyway. Hard to make a good fillet out of smaller bass, doncha know. There's no length limit on bluegills and I still throw back anything smaller than like 7". The small ones are hard to clean and a pain to eat. I tell the fish "Go on. Grow bigger." before I throw them back. (Yes, I talk to the fish. Hey, at least I don't kiss them like Jimmy Houston.)
It occurs to me - as it has many times in the past - that we wouldn't need half the rules and laws we have if people were more rational. Or as Aristophanes put it "Wise people, even though all laws were abolished, would still lead the same life."
Then we'd be even more independent and have more to celebrate. But maybe that's just me.
Whether you're here and celebrated the 4th of July, or in Canada celebrating Canada Day, or just out there in the world leading your life, Happy Independence Day. Feel free to celebrate it every day. =o)