New social norms make extroverts appreciate those special moments abroad


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Like the rest of you, I don’t have the right to spend a lot of time visiting others these days. Social distancing rules say I’m supposed to stay six feet from everyone, and as this pandemic escalates I’ve even found myself guilty of holding my breath when I passed someone in the streets. aisles of my local grocery store.

For a guy who makes a living meeting complete strangers, listening to their stories, and sharing those stories with thousands of BDN readers, this has been a strange time, of course.

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An admission that won’t come as much of a surprise – I can already hear my wife say, “Come on… don’t you think people already knew that?” – I’m a bit of an extrovert.

OKAY. More than “a little”.

Truth be told, I thrive on these days full of random personal interactions, which are, for the foreseeable future, a thing of the past. I always looked forward to the next random reunion, the next group of people I would meet on an adventure in the woods, or the next hunting or fishing trip with my tight-knit group of buddies.

Some see the outdoors as an excuse to get away from something. For me, it has always been quite another thing. They have been a way to share special times and places with others.

I’m not the serious, rugged loner you read in outdoor literature – that guy who never really feels alive unless he’s 100 miles from the closest person, and who is his. best when he has to match his mind with Mother Nature and fend for himself.

Instead, I’m the guy who believes every hunting and fishing adventure is the perfect excuse to have a reunion, and the more friends who can attend, the more fun everyone will have.

We can spend the day hunting on our own or fishing in different pools where we spend some quiet time, but my favorite trips all end with laughs and stories around the dinner table, as we begin the process of transforming them. “Experiences” into “memories” by sharing them with others.

Over the years I have shared all kinds of adventures with the same group of guys. Sometimes we retreated into the wilderness of Quebec, where we fished for brook trout in a closed mining town. I almost fell off a cliff into a raging river on one of these trips, and later broke my fly rod. Still, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Other times we headed to camps on Cassidy Deadwater or Caucomgomoc Lake and spent glorious weeks trying to find a moose to fill our tags.

And still other times we have hunted birds and tried our hand as moose photographers while spending time at a special place on Lake Brassua.

Believe me when I tell you this: while each of us loves a little peace and quiet, and we all love to have the chance to fish a piece of water that no one else has caught for days or weeks, neither of us would change any of those experiences. Each of these adventures became even more special because we had good friends to share them with.

The other day, on the group text channel we use to plan such trips, a friend of mine pointed out that it has been too long since we’ve had the chance to spend time outdoors. He suggested that a spring fishing trip might be just what we needed to get rid of the discomfort that plagued us all during this difficult time.

To me – the extrovert – the suggestion seemed perfect… for about a second.

Then I came back to reality and pointed out that neither of us knows when we will be allowed to meet as a group again. I’m not a scientist, nor a doctor, you see. I’m ready to trust those who are, and I take social distancing guidelines seriously. And while it’s not a pleasant scenario, I’m expecting more and more to spend a lot of time alone in the coming months, if the experts tell me it’s necessary.

“It might not happen until summer,” I texted.

Or, I realize as I watch the news continue to change and the crisis continues to escalate, it might not happen until after that.

I hope all my fishing and hunting buddies will be safe and healthy until then, on another trip we will all remember forever.

And I hope your friends are healthy and safe as well.

Be well. The fish will wait.

John Holyoke can be reached at [email protected] or 207-990-8214. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnHolyoke. His first book, “Evergreens,” a collection of his favorite BDN columns and articles, is published by Islandport Press and is available wherever the books are sold.

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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