He’s not alone in his desire to fish. His dad enjoys the sport and his sister and brother-in-law often invite him along when they go fishing. “Do you really fish?” I ask my daughter while unconsciously wrinkling my nose.
“Oh yes!” she says with more exuberance than I expect. “I’m good at it, too! I usually catch more fish than the guys!”
“You’ve got to be kidding! Who puts the worm on your hook?”
“I do!” she answers sounding insulted.
“You don’t mean it,” I respond shuddering, now totally revolted. “Worms are dirty, slimy and wiggly. I could never do that.”
“Oh, Mom,” she laughs.
What makes a person enjoy standing for hours in the sun, alone, throwing out a fishing line, reeling it back in and then throwing it out again? If the fisherman is fishing for a meal, it would be perhaps understandable that a person would enjoy this task. For those that fish only for sport, to catch them and throw them back in, seems senseless to a person who doesn’t like to fish.
When my son or husband aren’t at the water’s edge or in a boat throwing out their lines, they are studying intently fish books that seem to be filled with an indispensable amount of information that must be devoured before the next fishing trip. When we go shopping, they tell me “good bye” upon entering the store as they head for their favorite department: fishing! They study all the rods, fishing lures, and bait and then discuss the pros and cons of each, what will be needed for the next “event” and then finally decide on the perfect addition to their already ample supply of fishing gear for their tackle boxes.
Gift buying is easy, however, considering the interest in the sport. A new fishing pole, tackle box, or anything to put in a tackle box is heartily accepted. One year, the gift was a fish cookbook, not that my son planned on cooking his catch. That, he assures me is my job. He just wanted to pick the recipe.
Occasionally as my “men” head for the water I are reminded of the “Andy Griffith Show” that was on years ago. Andy and Opie could always be seen heading for the lake with their fishing poles over their shoulders while Andy whistles a lively tune. The scene seems to say, “life is good!” It shows contentment, peacefulness and a wonder of life.
Contentment, peace, joy and a wonder of life is what we all strive for in our day- to-day lives. Many never reach these goals. Those that do never want to let go. Fishing, ultimately to the fisherman, provides these elements. You can’t rush the fish and you can’t make them take your bait. You can only sit and wait during this forced “quiet time.”
Waiting is often the hardest thing for us to do. To sit in silence, with our own thoughts can be intimidating. We have become a society of instant answers, instant gratification, instant food from fast food restaurants, instant messaging, instant money and more! Fishing forces waiting. There are fishing aids available now that help you see your prey through the water, sonar devices of sorts, and others. The fact remains, however, that unless that fish opens his mouth and swallows your hook, you wait.
While I still have no desire to fish, perhaps a part of me does understand my son and husband’s fascination with the sport of fishing. I find quiet time with a needle and thread, and a massive sewing project before me. They find their quiet time outside beside the lake or stream engulfed in nature’s beauty.
The next time they say “we’re going fishin,’” I’ll just smile with a new understanding and sincerely mean it when I say, “Enjoy!”