Fishing or Wishing?
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Not a fisherman
I’m not really that involved of a fisherman, though I do enjoy the quiet relaxation of sitting on the banks with a line haphazardly thrown in the water with the pole gently resting upon a y shaped stick that I found somewhere nearby. I like to watch the water as it curiously ripples as the wind blows and on occasion see a fish surface and cause a ripple of its own. I enjoy watching the sunset as the night moves in to replace the day’s graceful awe. The reflection of the sunset upon a lake can be moving and invigorating and calm the soul. I set a broken stick with the green bark still holding both ends together over my line to clue me in of the possible nibble of a hungry gilled creature tasting my bait. As a young boy I went fishing frequently as it was one of the few times my family would gather to enjoy an activity together. I could tell many stories about the trips we took to the lake or the river to cast a line and sit by idly as the time took on a life of its own.
I could tell many stories, though some may find them boring, I would still be enjoying my right to tell them and those who were disinterested could easily pass them by without taking a seconds notice. I do have one such story that may be of greater interest to many who enjoy a good mystery and find enjoyment in the curiosity of the world. I remember we arrived at the banks just a bit before sun down. It was a beautiful sunset and the reflection from the water only added to the allure of the moment. I had a line in the water and we were each watching our own version of the scenery as it passed by in a panorama of color and texture. Fishing in my family was not one of those times to talk about the day’s events and the things we were each experiencing. It was a time for reflection and introspection of what we had seen and done and how we felt about those things.
Ordinary Fishing Trip
As it would seem, this was just an ordinary fishing trip; there was nothing profound about it. There was no great event that had spawned our desire to converse with nature and try our luck or skill at catching that first fish of the evening. Now, my oldest brother was certainly the most avid fisherman among us and he was also the most skilled. It seemed most times he had caught something before I even had my line in the water. I rarely caught anything, but never felt disheartened as catching fish wasn’t really the portion of the event that I most enjoyed.
The Moon on the Lake
The sun had set and the colors of the setting were all gone, but the moon that replaced it was huge, and bright, and full; and it cast a reflection across the water like I had never seen before. I wasn’t really watching my pole; I was busy observing the reflection of the moon as it seemed so life-like as it danced across the water. I was lost in my own thoughts. I didn’t notice, but I suppose I was getting a bite; before I knew it my pole flipped up and was gone into the water. I wasn’t really upset that I had missed catching something, but I was a bit perturbed that my pole was gone.
The event of me loosing my pole caused a bit of excitement, but it wasn’t long before all was calm again and we were back to concentrating on our own ideas of what was important at the time. I was with out a fishing pole, because I didn’t have the foresight to bring an extra one. Unlike my brother who had several, in fact he usually had two or three lines in the water at any given time. He offered me one of his, but I figured I would just continue with what I had already been doing anyway.
I watched the moon on the water intently as I thought about whatever it was I was thinking. I had nearly fallen asleep, when for whatever reason I looked up and seen several falling stars race across the sky. I said somewhat loudly did you guys see that. My Dad who enjoyed the solitude perhaps as much as I did said “Shhh, you’ll scare the fish”. I couldn’t keep the event to myself, and explained that I had seen several falling stars. My Dad laughing said “why don’t you wish for your pole back”. I could have thought of a thousand things I’d rather wish for, but for some reason I decided to follow his advice and whispered quietly to myself I wish I had my pole back. In that moment my brother grabbed up his pole and whipped it back to hook whatever was nibbling on his line. He had caught something, and began reeling in his line. Whatever it was, it was big, he’d reel a bit then pull his pole back. He fought it for what seemed like forever; reeling, pulling, reeling, pulling. Finally he had it up by the shore, Dad had grabbed the net as he did on occasion when the fight to reel one in seemed overly arduous. As my brother continued to pull my Dad scooped it up into the net. It was a fine catch; a large catfish probably over twenty pounds. As they got a hold of it and began inspecting it they discovered that it had another hook in its mouth with a line still attached. They pulled the line in carefully with some effort as it kept getting caught as they pulled it in. After some time and effort they amazingly pulled my pole from the water. If only I had been paying attention, I might have caught the biggest fish of my life, but I suppose I had my head in the clouds daydreaming as I have most of my life. Perhaps that is why I am a writer rather than a fisherman.