Saturday, August 16, 2008
I love to go fishing. It offers an opportunity to enjoy God’s amazing creation and it also offers an opportunity to relax and reflect in a peaceful quite atmosphere. I’m not a great fisherman. I don’t own expensive gear, a boat, nor do I know all the latest fishing techniques. I simply love the excitement of hooking onto a big old bass and the battle of reeling that hog in. More times then not I’m on the losing end. All I’m left with is glorious legends of the enormous fish that got away and the disappointment of what could have been. The disappointment always seems to melt into motivation and passion as I throw out my line for yet another improvable chance at greatness. Every crank of my reel is filled with hope and anticipation.
My love of fishing was passed down to me from my Grandfather. Unfortunately Grandpa John died when I was a young boy. In my minds eye he was a fishing super hero. He owned a small cottage on a lake and he loved to fish. I remember the stories my Grandma would tell us of how Grandpa John would come in from a fishing trip with strings of fish. I learned to fish from Grandpa John. We used a huge bamboo cane fishing pool and some unwilling night crawlers. We would often fish from the dock near our cottage and catch small Perch and Bluegills. Grandpa John would help us with our lines. We were always in need of bait, or help with some awkward tangle in our fishing lines. I recall the tangled mess would often drive my Grandpa John nuts. Just about every summer holiday of my childhood life was spent at that small cottage on Indian Lake. Much of my activity was spent fishing with my brother Kevin and my cousin Jim. Although I demonstrated little aptitude for fishing, I always had a great time. Kevin and Jim both were natural fishermen; I seemed to lack the patience and skill to rise to their fishing prowess.
My son Noah is now five years old and this summer I have decided to give him the gift of fishing. I gave Noah an old fishing box with hooks, bombers, crank baits and lures. I also took him to the sports store to get his first real fishing pool.
Noah’s enthusiasm for fishing is much like a dog that has spent the day away from the owner he loves. Intense excitement overflows in word and action as I drive my five year old Noah to our date with the deep. My heart is filled with pride knowing that this is the beginning of something my son and I can share together for the rest of our lives. Fishing will be our bond and sanctuary. There are few places or few things that you can do together in silence. Silence in community is both peaceful and relaxing. When I’m free to be silent in a friendship I know I’m loved and secure. I desire Noah and me to share this friendship, and fishing is the perfect venue to experience it. As we arrive at our fishing spot, relaxation and silence forgot to join us on our fishing date. Noah is like the space shuttle at lift off as the huge rockets gather strength and energy to break free from the launch pad. Just as the car hits park Noah burst out the door anxious to become a fisherman. Noah runs to the dock with his new fishing pool and a box full of fishing tackle. Evan before I hit the dock the game of a thousand questions commences. “Dad can you bait my hook? Dad can I cast my fishing pool? Dad can I use this lure? Dad how come we haven’t caught any fish? Dad will you untangle my line?” Noah decided to use every lure in his fishing box and try every kind of bait we had. My whole time was spent trying to make Noah’s fishing trip fun. Patience and quite are the hallmark of a great fisherman, volume and excited anxiousness was the testament of our effort. The fish in our lake never had a chance to actually take a bite. I imagine them swimming in their schools and saying to each other “hey there goes a very fast worm, there goes a very fast frog, hey there goes a very fast shiny thing.” I imagine they sat there very amused at the colorful banquet parade of fast things to eat. Needles to say we did not get a bite, but Noah did manage to break the world record for the amount of line changes in an hour and even though we caught nothing but seaweed we did have a great time. On the way home Noah said “ Daddy when I get older I want to be just like you”. Fishing with Noah was unlike anything I had imagined. I’m proud to say Noah fishes like his Dad.