Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Going the Distance

Brian has been attempting to teach me how to steelhead fish for about a year now.  I would love to say that I'm getting the hang of it, but that would be a lie.  The more time I spend in waders, wallowing in ice cold waters, I realize how much about this sport I do not understand.  I know enough now to know it isn't easy and that I do plenty of things wrong.  It's easier being ignorant -- then one can enjoy oneself, not realizing how stupid one looks.  Or the fact that in one year I have yet to catch a fish. 

Last weekend Brian and I headed out for some time on the river.  We waded and hiked and found what looked to be a lovely spot.  I casted.  And casted some more.  Some. More.  Nothing.  I kept watching the things that my handsome instructor had warned me about -- my pole, my bobber, my line.  Not so good.  I kept trying to fix my errors.  On top of that, everything else was so distracting.  There were geese, and a beaver, and a multitude of bobbers floating orphaned down the river (must have been other wives out there losing their husband's tackle).  When I finally hung up my line on a rock and the hunky instructor had to free it (lest my bobber join the others on an oceanic migration), I gave up.  I put myself in time out and pouted along the shore while the real fisherman in the family continued to work his fishing magic.  The only thing I caught that day was a crawdad...that had no pincers.  Pathetic. 

I lamented all the way home about not being able to learn this type of fishing.  Maybe I'm  too old to learn new things.  I have plenty of activities I enjoy that I know how to do.  Perhaps I should stick with those and just tag along and observe instead of participating.  We unloaded our gear and headed outside to work on weekend projects.   Brian started laying out fencing for a repair that needed to be done.  I sat on the woodpile, still grumpy, and finished my coffee.  I noticed that the pile of firewood had started to cure and looked dry enough to split -- thanks to our unseasonably warm weather.  I dug out the splitting tools and started taking whacks at some of the rounds.  At first it was slow going and I didn't make much progress; however, I've had lots of practice over the last couple of years and I adjusted my technique.  Soon enough a little pile of split wood started piling up.  Encouraged, I kept chopping.  I chopped and hacked for over four hours.  The boys even caught my enthusiasm and joined in for a bit.  The whole time I blew off some steam  and found contentment in my accomplishment.   The more I did, the more I wanted to do. Success!

Finally I was worn out.  I stepped back and admired...yes pile.  Then I made the connection and heard that quiet voice reminding me of the distance He has carried me.  I remember being so frustrated after Marc died.  I was left with having to chop wood and kindling all by myself.  I had never done it before.  It was frustrating to learn, but rewarding when I figured it out.  A lot has changed since this post.  I chop lots of kindling now.  And firewood.  Not only that, but my boys have learned.  I was able to teach them and it is so fun to watch them contributing like adults.  Men.  Ugh.   It's amazing to me to see how far we have come.  Sometimes I just need to take a step back and survey the valley from this mountaintop....and give abundant thanks. 

So, this weekend I'm going to take a deep breath, find my humility, and cast my line for steelhead again.  Maybe I'll catch something.  Maybe I won't.  But, I know if I give up I'll never have the satisfaction of knowing that success. 

 Catch of the Day...
Crawdad sans pincers. 

 The most patient and kind fishing instructor EVER. 
Also chivalrous....he won't even wear his good waders and gear when he's with me.  He wears these dumb LEAKY hip boots.  Why?  Cuz I don't have a fancy set up and he won't enjoy the luxury of Simms waders without me.  Don't try to understand the logic folks.....

Toddler Adam.  Checking out the wood pile.

Teenage Adam.  Delving in to help his old mom.  
How far we've come.

 My glorious woodpile.
Complete with heavenly light streaming down on it.
Hallelujah! Amen. 

With love and gratitude....

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, the old all things working together for good that also reaps perseverance, steadfastness, and that old time favorite: hope. Well, thanks for all that. ;) I am encouraged again by what you are seeing. Encouraged that in my prime old age, I will let out the line again in hope for a banquet of Springers. sigh.........bje