Waterfowling elicits deep emotion in me, both joy and sorrow.
It is a part of an enduring pattern for me that is ancient and genetic. These two words, enduring pattern, constitute a technical term used by historians which means, broadly speaking, that in similar geographical, economic, and social circumstances, communities maintain habits of life and mind over immense periods. Often the origins of these habits are long lost in the mists of time. No one can recall when they began and they are always done by the community, for the community.
This all seem clearer in the marshes of the north for me. This is an elemental land where I am close to the water, the land, and the sky. And for me, living in that triangle, where the hand of people is not to be seen, I am almost at the beginning of time. So I link with the past very readily there (and where I live as well). It is not surprising that these roots are tenacious and have lasted into our own day. If I weren’t to carry on with this I would feel a lack…that something is missing out of my very being. This is not a luxury for me; it is elemental.
There is a concomitant ambivalence that is needed in order to hunt and fish in the forest, and on the marshes and lakes, that just by being there, their power and danger crystallizes into knowledge and delight and satisfaction. And is a wonder to live like that.
This is what waterfowling is for me, and I would dare say, even for my dog as well.