Teach a man to fish is the key success, is what we have all been told. An adventure shared between two men; one young and one old.
The trip wasn’t about fishing at all, but instead a lesson that eventually I would embrace. I missed it at the time succumbing to happiness revealed by the smile on my face.
The younger me that was present in the moment would have been incredibly disappointed.
The man to my left drove with a precision and care that only a grandson could recognize. From his seemingly bottomless well of wisdom he taught me to fish many years before, in fact he was a deity of sorts when seen through my eyes.
Bend and wrap no less then five before cinching down the knot… recalling every lesson I could remember on that drive. It seemed to take forever that journey to the lake, but my partner on that trip knew how precious this time was.
Time meant to revel in and enjoyed with each passing second not unlike a gourmet meal who’s aroma, texture and taste are to be savored with each introduction to the taste buds.
Even now as I draw upon the memories of that weekend a realization hits me. The light slowly comes into focus from darkness as I realize that this man, this friend, this human that I have placed onto a great pedestal was to blame.
Yes he is the reason I learned the journey should take precedence over the destination, for when you reach your goal that is simply the end, a byproduct of the adventure you are on. That lesson evaded the boy that I was at the time as it does a world focused on the goal; always headed somewhere yet never experiencing anywhere.
We were not unlike the crew of the Pequod hunting Moby Dick. Ishmael setting sail for adventure with Captain Ahab, weighed down with gear enough to slay every fish in the giant lake we now faced.
Miles from camp in an aluminum boat the storm moved in, first the black clouds heavy with rain. A trash bag quickly transformed into a poncho with a hole cut for arms and head gave us reprieve from the rain. Next thunder and lightning followed on cue, the captain asked his first mate to weigh in on the situation hinting of a nearby shelter, reminding me that aluminum was a good conductor of electricity.
The younger me that was present in the moment was incredibly disappointed.
Waiting the storm out we hid in a brick shit house, laughing at our predicament thankful that we didn’t have to go far if the urge hit us. We discussed math problems and science as well as fishing, love and paying attention to any omens put before us as we journey through life.
How much time was spent in that small brick outhouse, I cannot recall. I do remember that no fish were caught that weekend, but lessons were learned, love was shared and the journey was enjoyed… Even if the destination was an small brick outhouse in an unnamed cove on the Great Lake of the Ozarks.
The younger me that was present in the moment was NOT incredibly disappointed.