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Lucid Memories

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When you’re the age of five, nothing is expected of you. The world is at your fingertips. Most toddlers would want nothing more to do then play contently with their toys on the weekend. However, I was not like the others. I had developed a huge passion for fishing. This hobby will stay with me forever. The suspense it brings into my life is indescribable. Regardless of the day, a form of solitude sets in when out by my pond. It doesn’t take tremendous skill to be a fisherman, but more or less involves great patience and heart. No one taught these lessons better than my grandfather.

The day was absolutely perfect. Weather was not much of a factor for such an avid fisherman. Cloudy days are preferable due to the reduced amount of sunlight on the fish. Regardless, I was determined to catch a large fish that day. My mother had notified me days in advance that my grandparents would be coming over to visit. I was so excited that I bolted down the stair and began preparations for the day ahead. I didn’t even know how to tie my shoes, so how was I supposed to do it myself? Thankfully my father helped rummage through the garage to find my fishing pole from last year. After only a few minutes in the fly infested area was he able to pull out my Snoopy fishing rod.
I grasped it as though it was some sort of weapon. I was certainly ready to go to battle as I stopped through the house in my boots, displaying what had been recovered. The anticipation of the day was so immense that I began to jump up and down. My mom smiled at me and I knew she was elated to see me so worked up over one day.

Finally the time had arrived. As I had just begun to calm down and play with my toy car, the doorbell rang. I rushed with haste towards the door in curiosity, although I had a good idea as to who it was. From under a dark blue hat and large spectacles, my grandfather appeared. Alongside him was his high school sweet heart, my grandmother. I walked toward them with great enthusiasm. Both received large hugs and then the question slipped out, “Can we go fishing today Grandpa?” He grinned and revealed from his grocery bag a container of Canadian Night crawlers. I rushed over to him and gave another big hug. Then I went into the garage and collected my gear.

My grandfather waited for me outside as I prepared for a successful day. I gathered everything that was necessary. I snatched Snoopy bobber, being the most essential item, along with my tackle box. I met my grandfather out in the yard, who was talking up a storm with my father. I interrupted them and began to walk with ease towards the pond. My grandfather quickly ended his conversation and then followed immediately. I lead him to what we called our “lucky spot”. I dropped my tackle box to the ground and supported myself with the fishing pole. He set the numerous objects that he was carrying including his oversized tackle box. I intently watched as he sorted through the box as if it were some sort of filing cabinet. The search for what he had been looking for was over after only a few seconds. A good size hook was in the palm of his hand and immediately began to fasten it to the end of the fishing line.

The time was here! The finishing touches were put on the rod. Now all that was needed was some bait. I removed the light blue lid from the worm container and grabbed a juicy one from the bunch. The worm was attached by my grandfather who had better luck that I did with the matter. He finished and then all became quiet. I could hear a large fish leap up into the air behind us. I took my rod over to the very edge of the pond and with the guidance of my grandpa; I cast the worm into the deep abyss.

The adventure had finally begun! I reeled in my bobber with great eagerness, but with the touch of his hand my grandfather caught my attention. He said in a very subtle tone, “Let the fish have a chance to grab it”. So I began to slowly reel in the line. Suddenly a fish began to play with the bobber as if playing beach volleyball. The bobber bounced everywhere in the water. Then the fish yanked on it with all its might. I responded with a pull of my own and began to reel it in. The fish fought so hard that my face began to turn a little red. “Stay with it!” encouraged my grandfather. I did so and managed to pull the fish out of the frigid waters. It was an instant favorite, the large mouth bass. They always put up a great fight.

My grandfather’s face was unforgettable. He gave me a huge smile. I returned the favor and brought the fish over to him. We secured it on the line and took a good look at it. The fish was around 11 inches. I could barely hold in my feelings. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone what I had caught. The fish stared at me with a glazed over look in its eyes. The deed was done and now it was time for me to return inside. We didn’t bother to keep or eat the fish for that matter. The one of many unspoken rules while fishing is to always catch and release. I have abided by those rules ever since casting my first worm out into the murky pond. My grandfather always said that the fish would not be able to grow if we kept them to ourselves. So he unhooked the fish and lightly tossed it back into the pond.

A photo such as this one stays forever engraved into my memory. I know that my stature at the time seems rather insurmountable, but I felt like king of the world after catching that particular fish. Regardless, it wasn’t about the fish or the Snoopy pole and bobber. This event describes a bond that won’t ever be broken. It is journey that involves immense friendship and compassion. For as long as I live, I will never forget moments such as those.

Now, as I walk towards the pond on my own, I begin to shuffle through those memories and wish I could have them back. Just one more cast with my grandfather. Although I know that the opportunity has expired, I hope someday that dream will be possible.





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