, Gloucester, MA

December 10, 2012

Outdoors: Dreams to Remember

Dave Sartwell

---- — I’ve got dreams to remember.

As I sit here on the porch looking out over the Annisquam the sun comes pouring through the glass, warming to the marrow these old and brittle bones that have felt so much.

All I have to do is tilt back my head.

As I close my eyes the images coming flowing through in color, startlingly bright given my eyes that now have so much trouble focusing, with images that I know were long ago but seem to be getting closer.

The hounds still run, tongues still lolling. I can see the brindle color floating through the Megantic swamps pushing the track of the bear as fast as any hounds have ever run, voices echoing back through the spruces that cover the chase.

I’ve got dreams to remember.

The rainbow-dripping fly line in the early morning sunlight as the hen salmon slashes through the dark blue St. John River, shaking her head back and forth trying to dislodge the Mickey Finn.

The bobcat sitting in the apple tree.

All around him the hounds are barking, waiting impatiently for us, the hidden prisms in the white snow sparkling in the winter sunlight, steam rising from the open neck of my Carheart jacket.

The geese come floating through the fog.

Gray wings cupped together against the blustery wind of the Essex Bay, feet reaching out toward the traitorous cork bodies calling them in, the soft click of the safeties as we rise together to bring them down.

I’ve got dreams to remember.

The skin of the Costa Rican guide in contrast to a bleached-white shirt as we troll slowly by the entrance of the mighty Rio Colorado, feeling the blazing, equator-hot sun on our backs as we wait for the tarpon.

The Florida quail strutting under the brush.

The pointers vacuuming in the scent through quivering nostrils, eagerly stretched out taut as a straining rope, one foot delicately lifted as if afraid to set it down, waiting for us to move in for the sudden flush.

They come so much easier now.

I am constantly floating through a sea of vibrant images, sometimes as focused as a surround-sound movie projection and other times a mixed jumbled set of flashes hard to define.

Slowly I disappear into the passing flow. My dreams become a reality and I leave my tired body behind, sliding off toward the more pleasant places I have been, no longer wishing to struggle through days that no longer produce the dreams I want to remember.