Yesterday, I got the chance to go fishing on a perfect summer evening. It was just a little farm pond where I could walk along the bank and cast. Cinch followed along in the solitude of the setting sun. And in the serenity, I drifted off to the countless days I spent with my dad doing just the same thing.
From the time I could walk, I fished with my dad. We never had a boat. We just fished anywhere we could walk along the water. Seriously, I’m not sure we even caught fish. There is no story to be told of a great stringer of fish. But some of the most important conversations – some spoken, some not, most memorable days, most lasting memories I ever had came with a pole in my hands. My father loved to fish. But, I realized last night, it wasn’t the fishing my dad loved — it was the time fishing he loved. It was the peace and quiet of fishing he loved. It was the time with me that he loved even more.
On Saturday mornings, as a ten-year old boy, going to the bait shop to carefully select a PayDay, a Milky Way, or a Snickers and a pop for later was like selecting an entrée from a four-star restaurant. And to sit on the bank waiting for a bite with the ability to glance over at that life-hardened, yet soft face of his is still a high-definition vision I can see clearly in my mind.
But last night as my line flew from the tip of my rod, time suspended; cares disappeared; and the world stopped spinning. And as I reeled back in, I couldn’t have cared less if I caught a fish. In the rhythm of fishing, in the sound of steps I took as I walked along the water’s edge; I found a rhythm with the world. It was in the panoramic appreciation of the glasslike surface of the water; in the ripples of a fish moving along the bank; and in the graceful approach and landing of a small flock of geese that I return to the peace and solitude of those days with my father.
And, you know, it wasn’t about my dad last evening. It wasn’t about boyhood memories. There were no tears in my eyes for my dad. Just a unison of my existence with that of the universe given to me by the Creator, in whom I believe. There was a connection of my soul, my mind, my existence with all that is good, all that is divine, all that is as it should be!
Just a note to the God of the Universe ……………….Thank You!