The Boy Teacher and the Father Student 2 (How Do We Love Nature?)
Let Nature Rule
Nature Is Better Appreciated Through a Camera Than A Gunsight
Our boy and his father are now sitting on the banks of a creek where the father had grown up. The father is using an old school Bamboo pole with a 10 foot line. The boy has a nice and new pole that seems adjusted to his size. Father used live local bait he dug up, and the boy a lure. A babbling brook and silence save for the small rapids and birds. Birch, Sycamore and Willow lined the shores where they both learned to swim. Not a sandy type shore as it is steep and all boulder and rock. But it is the bait that stirs a discussion about love.
B: Dad why are you using a grub to fish with, it is yucky and it kills the grub?
The father is nonplussed and gives the boy one of those sideways looks which without being spoken lets the boy know that that is a question asked without first thinking.
B: I mean we are catching fish to eat but we are not going to eat worms.
F: Well son now you are thinking. Hmm maybe you are right though.
So the son pushes the issue
B: Aren’t we supposed to love all of nature?
Now it was the father’s turn to think about the fundamental question of loving nature while still needing to eat. Somethings we adults have just accepted without really looking at them. The son continues the process.
B: Why do you treat little animals worse than big ones?
Again the father had to pause to contemplate.
F: I never thought of that very much. I suppose I just accept predator and prey ideas.
So they sat silently with the creek flowing by and casting from time to time. Of course the boy did what boys do when fishing. He saw a school of fish, got so excited that he jerked around and yelled that there were a ton of fish right there. And of course the fish were frightened and swam away. Being down this road before the father just sighed and laughed. The excitement of seeing them might just outweigh the fun of catching one.
The issue of loving nature still in his mind he learned from the boy that often just observing nature is the best way to go. The hunt being far better than the kill. The father thought that it was just the right time to teach.
I Just Cannot Imagine A World That Gives No Voice to Children.
Pondering Is Perhaps Better Than Answering.
F: Son do you think plants are part of nature?
B: Course I do dad.
F: You know we kill those everyday just to eat, right?
B: But dad they die real quick anyway.
Another lesson in the form of a question for the father to contemplate. Certainly it is not longevity that gives value to a life.
B: Dad, can we kill something that we love?
F: What do you mean son?
B: Dad I was just thinking that if we love all of nature but pick plants and eat animals that we are killing something that we love.
F: Your thinking sounds right to me.
The father saw just how horribly wrong that the logic could take them.
F: I hope you are not including other people in your thoughts.
B: Well Dad?
F: Do you love your fishing pole?
B: Of course I do, it is just right for me.
F: Do you love mom?
B: That is silly Dad, of course I do.
No more dialogue for the moment of peace and quiet. And then the boy catches a small Rainbow Trout. The excitement brightens the already wonderful morning. But the fish is too small. Father rushes over to help dislodge the hook and release the fish back into the creek. And this begins a new look at love.
F: I am proud of you boy for bringing him in just right so we could do catch and release with no damage.
B: Why do we release the little ones?
F: Get this son. It is our duty to protect those young of any species. As I protect you, you must protect nature.
B: So why did you kill that grub? It is a baby beetle, right?
F: Son this is supposed to be relaxing, why do you make me think so hard?
Just Sitting Is Sometimes Better
My Best Hiking and Fishing Buddy
Live Might Be Standing Back
A compassionate 30 minutes pass by without words. But the minds keep working on framing questions. The father has taught the boy to question rather than to answer most of the time. The boy has taught the man not to just accept what life has taught him. Experience and mind can cripple us from learning. From growing.
F: Son I just got a big one! He is a German Brown and pulling hard.
The battle may seem lopsided to someone. But with the bamboo pole it is a tug of war and a quick twisting up of the line by spinning the pole. Like rewinding of a spool of thread. It is a reel of the most real meaning. Lessons taught by the father’s grandpa come into play like a second nature. The fish is perfect at 20 inches long. The boy and the father pray for the fish along the lines of God first but Mother Nature in the forefront.
B: Are you OK dad?
F: A little sad but happy at the same time son. I reckon I am just an old sap son. I will never get used to killing – even to feed you.
Fast as lightening the boy yelps as he has a big Rainbow on the line. It looks like the small rig may break on the weight. This time the father leans back on his rock and watches. At this point the boy is teaching his father to sit on his hands and let go and let live.
B: Yelling. Aren’t you going to help me dad?
Son, Will You Stand By Me?
Thank You Son For a Great Day of Schooling
The father yearns for popcorn as he watches the show. Five minutes of fight and the boy has the 12 incher in his hands. A baseball type swing against the rock so the fish dies instantly with no suffering. There is plenty of fish to feed the family of five. The father rock hops down to the boy and fixes his line with a few weights and no bait. The boy practices his casting for a few minutes. Then up the bank for the mile walk home.
B: That was sure fun. Can we do it again tomorrow?
F: Nothing I would rather do.
B: I think I get it about needing to eat. Can you explain again why it is OK?
F: Son you sound like my professors in college. Who is the dad here anyway? (pause as they watch a tree squirrel) A long time ago my big brother told me to be careful. He said that my words and actions impacted others. That I cut a wide swath. So act right. Our life impacts all things. We must be careful how we deal with that responsibility. No matter we must love first and survive second.
B: I think I understand dad. Like that catch and release today. Like I do with candy. Don’t take too much, because it is bad for you and greedy.
They came upon a wild Blackberry patch. And were delighted with the berries. And not having to kill the bush in order to eat.