We wait, patiently or otherwise. We try not to think about it. We occupy the time with other things – fishing, yard work, sports, clays. We frontload – getting things done that purportedly need getting done so that we will have more time when the time comes. It may even be the only thing that motivates us to be pro-active about anything in our lives, truth be told. But it’s always there, in the back of the cerebral dustbin, ready to run your intentions of productivity afoul at the slightest hint of summer waning.
It’s there every time you look at your dog – an uncomfortable reminder that for too much of the year, they aren’t allowed to perform to their fullest; that you owe it to them to get them out every chance you can during the season and watch them do what generations of breeding have finely honed. To watch them do most of the work. To hold up your end of the bargain. To have them teach you things, in spite of your pre-formed opinions and all the books you may have read on the subject. To watch them be so entirely focused and in the moment that it inspires deep envy.
And then suddenly, despite having thought that you put everything away in good style at the end of last season, it’s opening tomorrow and there are boots to excavate from underneath the better part of a year’s worth of closet detritus. Guns that have been tucked away for far too long, and you pull them out with more than a little trepidation that signs of rust haven’t developed in your neglect. Snack wrappers and spent shells and the remnants of a dog treat from last season, all to finally be removed from vest pockets in typical last minute preparation for the next.
It’s here, and we better suck the marrow out of every single friggin’ moment spent afield, for the all too rare thing that it is. Git busy living or git busy dying, as they say. Anything less would be unconscionable.