Fishing in the Surf by SA Lawrence
Fishing in the Surf
Greg felt the water gently moving past his calves and the soft ocean breeze caressing his face. He took a step just a bit to the left to keep his feet from sinking into the soft sand; the tide removing the sand from under them with each roll of the surf. "The sky is bright and clear this morning," he thought to himself as he felt the tug of the surf on the line from the current pulling against it. "What a great day to be here." Off in the distance he could see large pelicans diving for breakfast. The morning felt so peaceful as he watched the sun come up on the distant horizon; almost as if it rose straight out of the sea itself.
Seagulls were chirping; flying in slow circles looking for food scraps along the ocean edge and along the beach, looking hard at the bait resting beside his tackle box. His mind drifted back to where he was only four short weeks ago. The scorching heat of the desert sand and thin air, the constant state of alertness, ever mindful of the forces nearby set on his demise seem almost dream like. A nightmare to be sure, the comrades he lost from an exploding car bomb that fateful morning. In his mind, he can still hear the sound of the explosion and the cries of the civilians caught in its wake. How different this is to, so far away from that other place.
A couple of short bumps on the line let him know that something is out there, tasting his bait. He took in a deep breath of the crisp ocean air, and tried to change his focus from those haunting memories. Thinking back, he wondered if he should have brought his wife with him, but at this early hour, she probably was still enjoying her sleep. She mentioned last night that she would join him later in the morning and bring lunch when she comes with the kids.
His mind again goes back to that day. His friend and comrade was lost in the explosion, and the family without their husband and father. It may have just as easily been him. Sean was a good man and a good friend; his wife looked so happy in the photographs Sean carried everywhere with him. How fast it can all disappear, in the blink of an eye, or the flash of an explosion. What did Sean die for? What did those people in that far off land mean to him or any of them? Did they care if Sean died to help protect them? How many people in this country care about Sean or what he did; the life he gave?
He remembered the people in the airport when his company returned to the States. As they came off the plane, the people all stopped and watched them. Then, as if under direction, they broke out in a thunderous applause. What a great feeling it gave him, to see they did care about what he and his comrades were doing. Caring not just forfreedom of the people over there, but also for the sacrifice they’re making to protect the people of America, and to keep the threat of war from coming here.
Sean would have loved to see that. He believed the people of the States still supported what they were doing, regardless of the spew the media offered. There it was again, another bump on the line. Reflecting back, he can’t remember Sean ever making a derogatory remark about being over there except for being away from family. The inhabitants of that country, really wanted them there. It would not have mattered which President was in charge, when they were sent over there, the atrocities against the people were real. It didn’t matter if some advisor lied about the weapons of mass destruction, or what congress believed to be true. In fact, people were being abused, and mistreated; it was a humane responsibility. It was caring for fellow man. So if being there was because of someone’s deception, then ultimately God must have needed them there, despite the views of some self serving individuals seeking notoriety.
His pole doubled over and pulled hard against his arms. He could hear the drag clicking; the line spinning off the reel. Pulling hard on the long pole, he tried to set the hook and stop the run. The fish fought back hard and almost pulled the pole from his grip. Again, he pulled hard against the unseen combatant under the water. What ever it was, it was strong! He tried hard to reel in, some of the line left, but he could see the drag still moving out as fast as he was reeling in the line. Then, finally, it quit taking out line and he started to make some progress. He continued winding the reel and pulling back against the fish. The battle continued a little more, and he could feel the muscles in his arms starting to strain, his back began to ache from the fight. Soon could see the leader coming above the top of the water; the fish still trying to swim to freedom.
He waded further out and reached down, placing his hands into the water and behind its gills, carefully lifting up the large fish. A nice Redfish, and heavy too; but perhaps it was too nice. He carried it back to his tackle box and placed it along the scale, twenty-nine and a half inches…it was over the limit. He carefully removed the hook, set the pole in the pole-stand and carried the fish out to the surf. It was a beautiful fish, but it was over the limit, and needed to be released. It was the right thing to do, and it was the law. With a couple of swishes in the surf, the fish took off and disappeared into the blue water. He had fun, and it had put up a good fight; now had its freedom.
His mind drifted off again to Sean. The price Sean paid for freedom, and the sacrifice he made. Freedom does have a price. It is not a right, but a privilege fought and sacrificed for. He wondered how people, regardless of their beliefs, would feel if faced with the possibility of losing what so many others have died to protect. Freedom isn’t free; it has a high price that must be paid. His mind again went to those people in that far off land. He, along with the men and women from here and other countries may be the only hope those people have. In another month, he will return and continue to fight against the evils that exist there. In time, perhaps the freedom many here take for granted, the people there may also call their own. He placed some more bait on the hook, waded out into the surf and cast it out beyond the breakers. Glancing off across the ocean, he thought to himself. How wonderful it is to be an American, how great to be free.
Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: Tue Mar 30 19:36:32 UTC 2010
Title :: Fishing in the Surf
Category :: Literature
Fingerprint :: 47895f80ff9d758948ab705874facff6f29e2b14f62483f85e0387b3ec19080c
MCN :: CEAMM-2BMSJ-Y5K8X