A Limitless Pursuit

“All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.” -T.K. Whipple

Five More Minutes

Five more minutes, sometimes that is all that it takes. It doesn’t sound like much time because it is not. What you can do with it matters the most. Five more minutes can be the difference between a completing a limit and striking out. Five more minutes can quickly turn into a lifelong story and an event that you will relive for the rest of your life. Sometimes five more minutes is just that, a little more time.

Every time I take a step into the wilderness and venture out into nature, I always have to go back to reality. Every time, I find myself making the same excuses to stay a little longer. Often times I set a fraudulent deadline for when I will pack it in. There is no one to hold me accountable and no repercussions for going beyond my own limits. One more drift, one more cast, when the birds stop flying, after the coffee is gone. The excuses, much like the opportunities are endless but the result is always the same. Just like hitting the snooze button on an early Monday morning before work, the time goes by too quickly, so we do it again. Over and over looking to become fulfilled, searching for some other peace of mind before we need to go.  On those early Monday mornings we are trying to delay the inevitable. When we are outdoors we try to prolong the experience.

Why?

We make these excuses for the same reason in which we are there in the first place: the unknown. We know that somewhere out there, beyond our comfort zone there is something worth fighting for. It is something that plants ideas into our minds and plays with our dreams; it is more than enough to keep us going. It is the lunker at the end of the line that will eventually hit. It’s the giant buck that decides to make an appearance at the eleventh hour of last day of the season. It is the last duck to give you a look, which happens to be banded. It is the experience and the impact it has on us. If we look hard enough, eventually what we are looking for doesn’t need to revolve around taking game. Instead of producing piles, the participation alone is enough. The pleasure of watching bird dogs working a late season pheasant in the last patch of cattails. The resulting flush of color reflecting off the autumn sun makes it all worth it.  There comes a time when we get just as much pleasure watching a trout swim back into the river, as we do pulling it out of the river. These are gifts in and of themselves. When we let go of our expectations and replace it with appreciation, we are able to find so much more.

For some reason I always seem to enjoy the last five minutes. This is the time when I get to reflect on the day that I have had and prepare for it to end. When the daylight is ending or I find myself needing to be somewhere else, five more minutes is all that I ask for.

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