My thoughts on everything from albacore tuna to zebras
|Three AM is not the most popular time of day. We have given names to other hours, the witching hour – midnight. We have rush hour – which typically lasts more than an hour and starts at three, four or five pm depending on your particular schedule. Six Am is wake-up-and-go-to work time. Ten am is break time. Noon is lunch… you get the idea. Three AM is just one of those in-between hours that we often ignore. It comes slightly after two am when we close the bars and the drunks head home and slightly before four am which is the “time to make the donuts” hour. Yet three am is one of my favorite hours, or at least it used to be. Now, more often than not, I am sound asleep at this hour of the morning, or at least trying desperately to will myself to sleep, but there was a time when three am meant…
-a flashlight guided walk through my neighbors dew laden grass to the well at the back of his yard to get the bait for going fishing. It was the newest of hours. Quiet, even the dogs were asleep, and even though it was August the chill of autumn was evident.
-a chilled moonlit night sitting on a frozen lake watching the snow sparkle like diamonds as I wait for a fish to bite. The snow covered silence is broken only by the occasional hoot of an owl, the bark of a coyote, or once, the cry of a bobcat.
-lebanon bologna sandwiches with horseradish mustard and Swiss cheese, hot thermos of tea, an apple and a Hershey bar and the excitement of the first day of deer season as my dad and I got ready for the long drive to our hunting ground.
- A heavy eyed drive begun a couple of hours earlier approaching the Canadian border with the slumbering “B” driver in the seat next to me – the fellow fisherman who promised to keep me awake.
-A long unseen cast from a medium weight spinning rod of a silver and red Cotton Cordell plug and the slow retrieve as every nerve waited for the strike of a feeding striped bass. The fog swirling off the flowing water made me wonder if I was fishing in the River Styx.
-A quiet reverence around a dying campfire watching the glow of the embers as they fade off one by one into darkness. Wishing it would last just a little longer but glad that it didn’t as sleep overtakes me.
-A starlit walk down a wooded trail that ends in a meadow on a chill autumn night to watch a meteor shower.
-The lapping of waves against a granite shore providing the cadence for the dance of the northern lights as friends and I are treated to a sight that even today, these many years hence, cannot be put into words.
These are the things I associate with Three AM. I close my eyes and I can see, feel, smell and touch each one of these memories