Hammock wondering

What began as another hot and uncomfortably humid August day presented a more welcome face when viewed from a new hammock aligned between two stout pecan trees allowing an unobstructed view across rippling coastal waters to the south.

A pair of squirrels chattered overhead resentfully discussing my intrusion, while a redhead woodpecker nearby hammered a decaying pine. All was at peace, blue skies and gleaming white clouds leisurely rode the light southwest breeze.

A Spanish philosopher of a few centuries ago wrote, “The rivers and watery elements of the world were made for wise men to contemplate, and fools to pass by without consideration.”

A gleaming yacht, sprouting multiple fish rods, idled by, reminding me of the late Louis Rubin Jr., one of Carolina’s great philosophers, and a question raised in his book, “The Even-Tempered Angler.” There he strikes at the heart of an unending discussion when he suggests we ask ourselves: “Is the goal found in the tranquility fishing can offer – or the scoring of the hunt?”

Another distinguished academic and biologist noted, “As the angler matures he finds it less important to catch fish. However, as he matures he inevitably catches more fish.”

Alas, conundrums worth one’s swaying contemplation on an August afternoon.