Thursday, November 2, 2017

Turning Point

Saturday's post didn't get to the gist of the recent Lake Hopatcong outing, but maybe my distraction is revealing in a positive way. Since 2007, my son, Matt, and I have fished the lake every fall, usually during the third week of October. That third week of October 2012, we flew to Missouri and then drove into southern Illinois to Shawnee State Forest, Snake Road, in search of new snake species we had never before seen and photographed. A very successful trip. But later that fall, November 17th, we got out on the lake.

Without thinking of Matt away at Boston University, no fishing the lake for us this fall of 2017, I started to think of inviting Jorge, back when we float tripped a length of the South Branch September 9th. He had expressed some interest in fishing Hopatcong sometime with his sons. I felt a deep desire to pass the torch that morning, but it never occurred to me until this evening to recognize this pivotal turn of events from one father with a son grown, to another with sons more and less the age of eight, the age of Matt when I first took him out of Dow's Boat Rentals.

Before the obvious occurred to me, that my feeling out of sorts with fishing has to do with the loss of my chief fishing partner, I was thinking maybe I can yet regenerate the connection with the lake before the year is out. I have one more trip scheduled before I might ice fish a couple of times this winter. But the post I wrote August 2016, "On the Big Pond with my Wife and Son," haunts me. What I called grand affirmations involve high level contemplative encounters through participatory activity outdoors. Fishing, in other words. Fishing became religion for me. For years. And then that day in August, as we rode back into Dow's just after sunset, I felt loss. It had been a wholesome good day on the lake, but as we chugged back, I felt as if I were leaving all of it behind.

Of course, I hoped it was just that particular day amiss. Looking back, I know it wasn't. Posts last year, some of them, reveal just a little of my job stresses. Since then, I've managed to get a strong grip on this, as yet, relatively new job in a Chef Studio. I began as a total greenhorn. But things have changed. My son is not only gone but grown up. To show a boy the world is not the same as to celebrate it with a young man. We certainly will fish again, but whether or not the innocence of these former glory days can ever return for me, this is less the concern than my telling you, my readers, that the likes remain possible for others who find it in fishing.

It's not only important to whomever may achieve such happiness. Grand affirmations include the surrounding world. They ultimately bring hope to others in subtle ways. I used to write a lot about going out, and then coming back refreshed--re-created as we say recreation--to function all the better at work and with family and friends. It makes a positive difference in a big way, even if all anyone else knows of it is very subtle.

So my knowing this, don't think for a moment I will abandon the quest. Things have definitely changed. But I will get out. And I can't predict what developments might yet await.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments Encouraged and Answered