Finding Myself in a Fishing Trip

December 12, 2010
Throughout my childhood and into my young adult years, my prominent memories are those spent fishing with my father. He and I do not always get along, yet we may always put aside out discrepancies to go fishing. It is our link, our unspoken ritual. Father daughter conversations do not always need words. Our time together was precious, and still is, and has taught me many things that I will carry with me into my adult life. Seated down by our special spot on the sandy shore of the relaxed river, we shared many moments that will stay with me.

The lazy river floats by. Our poles at a 45 degree angle to the water, the fishing lines caught a glint of the light and smiled in the waning sunlight. The birds sing their hymns and melodies. Dragonflies skim the surface, skirting close to the danger of a hungry fish. The tip of my rod bends forward with the weight of a catfish on the lure. I sweep my hand to the pole and with my other hand grasp the reel. Giving the pole a slight jerk back gives me security that I have the fish. Then I begin the leisurely task of bringing it into shore.

As I see the sleek and slick body appearing, my father offers quiet encouragement and calm suggestions. I easily reel the fish to shore and a burst of pride and silent excitement boils and brims within me. I gently take the flopping fish in my hand and remove the hook from the corner of its mouth. The gills flex, taking in air. The mouth forms a silent and perpetual O. As I walk into the water, my bare feet sensing the grains of sand, stones, and shells, I release the fish and it wags its tail to and fro, disappearing into the dark depths of the river bottom. I look back at my father who has a sly, knowing smile pasted on his face that makes his mouth look like a comma.

The silent quiet of the days my father and I have shared instilled in me cool collectedness, passive peacefulness, and a gentle generosity. The experiences I have gained on that shore have shaped my personality; I am relaxed, collected, tranquil, composed, and gentle; I am patient, tolerant, serene, and enduring. Those afternoons spent on the river with my dad, even though we hardly and instead chose to enjoy each other’s company, have taught me more and molded me as an individual further than any of my other experiences growing up. For that, I am thankful.





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