Friday, November 4, 2011

Maybe Patience

This is why I love the Fall and what it means. When I was 8 years old my Father took me fishing for the first time. We went a ways up North Creek. I'd seen it before. It wasn't too far away from the hunting cabin that I'd haunted on occasion. Triple Oak Lodge. It was a little log cabin that had to have been close to 100 years old. In truth, it was 123. I digress.

Jennings creek was far more accessible but North Creek had the Big Fish, or so I was told. As such, that is where we went.

I remember my Father rigging my line with some odd contraption that involved a hook and some small egg things from a glass jar. They were bright orange. That much I recall.

He told me to cast upstream and wait for it to drift by. He said I would hook a lunker. I wasn't exactly sure what a "lunker" was but it sounded cool as shit.

I didn't hook said "lunker". But I did see that little orange ball swim by, often.

Still, I kept casting upstream because my Daddy (your Poppy) said that's what I should do. And if anyone knew what in the hell I was doing, it was my Father. Because I surely didn't.

At some point, and I can't recall the exact moment, I grew weary of the instruction. I began tossing the line out here and there. Willy Nilly (as I was later told). On one particular cast my little orange ball stopped floating by. It decided to hover around a rather obtuse rock. It kind of dangled, to be honest. Dangling in the current. It was a bit perplexing to an 8 year old.

But then I saw that maple leaf.

While I was worming around with my pole and furrowing my eyebrows, I caught a glimpse of a leaf that had finally let go. It was to my right, that much I recall. It wallowed in the breeze for a bit and then found it's new home on top of the water.

The stream, brook, or river, description completely dependent upon your interactions with running water... gladly accepted this leaf. Personally, I don't think it really cared. Secretly, I think it mattered above all things. I fight with myself about that memory often. Who was smarter? The leaf or the water? Immortal questions.

What I do know, though, is that the leaf in question nestled into the current and found its ride. I know that because I saw it do so. I was 8. But I saw it do so.

It followed the current until an obstacle arose (it's called a rock). It hit that obstacle. It stayed there. Far too long for an 8 year old's attention span, in my humble opinion, but it stayed.

Eventually, it let go. Eventually, it moved on. Eventually.

Now, common sense and logic would tell you that friction, pressure & resistance are what held that leaf there. That is probably true.

But to an 8 year old... maybe it was just Patience. That mystical entity I lacked. Maybe.

My little orange ball of bait didn't have that patience. To my knowledge it's probably still stuck. Shimmying in the current.

At least I hope it is.

Maybe I should go check. I've probably been patient enough. :)

(By the way... that isn't a stock photo. That's actually North Creek. Want to see it for yourselves? I'm game.)

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