He awakened early and went into the main room of the cabin and opened the window. The air was cool and smelled of pine and still carried some hint of the smoke from last night’s fire and dew hung on the leaves and the mountain across the valley was still obscured by the morning mist. He put sausage in the skillet and as it fried he pressed the grease from it and then cracked two eggs into the same skillet to fry in the grease. He made coffee and put his breakfast on the kitchen table and found the book he had been reading the night before and laid it open on the table beside his plate.
All was quiet except for the rush and gurgle of the little creek beside the cabin that still ran full from yesterday’s storm and the constant lull of the watersound and the exaltation from the hot coffee was the perfect mixture to allow him some state between concentration and relaxation and for an hour he was with the poet who had written this little book a hundred years ago. He knew the writer’s pain of loss and understood exactly how the woman’s beauty and her words had pierced and changed him and how he would never be the same man again and that no matter what might have come to that man – riches, fame or glory – there would always be something unsatisfied in him. That place where only she could have filled.
He closed the book and straightened the kitchen and put on his hat and walked out onto the cabin’s porch and slung the last splash of coffee from his mug out onto the dirt and set the mug on the porch rail. He took the long flyrod that he had leaned against the wall yesterday and checked the knots and the bait and then carried it down the path to the river.