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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fishing Memories & Silence

I know what you are asking, what does fishing have to do with becoming whole?  To me becoming whole is about learning exactly what it is in your life that makes you complete.  What holes do you have in your soul that need to be filled. 

My parents bought a lake home when I was 2.  They loved it there.  To say I grew up there is an understatement.  We were there every single weekend from late spring until late fall.  That place was as much my home, as much a part of me as anywhere else.  Maybe even more so.  The time that we spent there as a family was precious.  I was with my Mother and Dad and they were 'present' with me at all times.

We did not have a television up there when I was younger.  Actually when we put one in, I hated it.  But that is another story.  We played cards, we went for walks, and of course WE WENT FISHING.  We fished off the dock, in a fishing boat (going backwards round and round Little Island) we took the pontoon to Aitkin lake to catch sunnies.

When I was younger, I certainly didn't understand the joy of silence.  I remember Crappie fishing.  Apparently the Crappie's are easily spooked.  We would row or paddle in silently and drop your line next to a lily pad.   Invariably I would clunk the side of the boat, stomp my feet, or speak too loudly.  He never got angry with me.  We would just move to the other side of the pads. It took many years but I believe this process taught me so much.  This is something I cannot repay.

I remember the first big fish I caught as a kid.  Let's face it, fishing was BORING.  We sat on the end of the small boat dock.  This was the old wooden dock with the big heavy steel posts.  I had a small cane pole.  He would show me how to throw the line out into the water and watch my bobber.   There was no excitement in watching.  I wanted to "cast" the line out.  Of course there was no casting with a cane pole, but what did I know.

I kept pulling the line in and putting the line out again.  Then it happened.  I pulled the line in and a HUGE (remember I was probably 3 or 4) Northern Pike jumped out of the water and chased the line.  I was terrified.  My eyes were huge and we quickly put the pole back in the water.  Sure enough we hooked the big Northern and Daddy helped me haul it in.  I learned a little bit of the value of patience that day and the love of an amazing Daddy.  I didn't realize it at the time, but clearly that memory has stayed with me for many years.  He was very proud and so was I.

As I grew older and was working, I would stay over Sunday night and drive home very early for work on Monday mornings.  Sunday nights were amazing.  The lake was quiet, no boats or jet skis zipping by.  Dad and I would get the boat ready and head out.  It was quiet.  Sometimes we fished in a content and comfortable silence.  So many sounds and memories of the sounds.  Loons, geese, ducks, the breeze in the trees. Those sounds take me immediately back to those times.  If you have ever experienced that, it is amazing.   Other times, we talked, we talked a lot.  We talked about work, relationships, life.  I treasure those moments.  We were present.

Life is so hectic, it is sometimes hard to be present with my family and especially my children.  I am tired, I am drained by so many things.  We don't go to the lake anymore, it belongs to my brother.  We don't have a boat.  My son asks to go fishing, we don't take him.  We are terrible parents right?  I miss that quiet.  I miss that time.  No electronics, no music, just God's music and a relationship with a wonderful man and woman.  A Mother and a Father.

Something our children are missing in their lives is learning to be still and silent.  We will work on finding time for that.  Time to listen to the sounds of nature, to your heart, to the voice of God.

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