Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Do You Fish?

In the past, we try to go on a few fishing trips a year. The last year though has been amazingly hectic and has slipped by us with very few opportunities to relax, much less, go fishing. We are getting antsy. We need to be on/in the water. We need to fish. We didn't fish this past weekend, but we were at least, in the water.

Little Clover returned from Chicago with stories galore. Hopefully, he will do a guest blog entry in the next few days. He unpacked, and then packed again for a trip up to the family cabin. He was gracious enough to allow Italian and me to accompany him on this trip. Once at the cabin, we spent the large part of our time on the lake. Little Clover tried his hand at captaining a boat. Papa Clover acted as his first mate.

Other than getting distracted by the occasional bird or log, he drove rather well. I only moderately feared for my life.

Little Clover also experienced tubing for the first time and he had a ball! He loved being on the tube and pulled by the boat. We could hear his giggles over the motor and if you rode the tube with him, he talked nonstop.
Looking back, part of the fun of this weekend was being able to experience one of Little Clover's firsts. As he grows up, those first moments are getting fewer and farther between. I'm not sure how many firsts he has left, but I hope to be there for as many of them as I can.

I even had a first a couple of weeks ago. I enjoy writing and see the blog as a safe medium for practicing the craft. There is no real rejection in the blog world. There is rejection though in attempting to get a piece published. Recently, I submitted an essay to Cast-On with Brenda Dayne. You may have heard of it. If you subscribe, then you heard my essay. My essay, "Do you fish," aired on June 29 as part of Episode 51. Below is a transcript of the essay. I'm very grateful to Brenda for accepting my essay. If you get a chance, support her podcast. She does great work and adds to the knitting community. Oh, and Sage of Quirky Nomads did a fantastic job of reading! Thank you, Sage.

Do you fish?
In my youth, I was a meadow pixie. We have pictures to prove it. I'm roughly five years old running in a wildflower meadow in the Rocky Mountains. My arms are out stretched and my Peter Pan collar is highlighted by golden sunlight. Thus, my life as a camper began. I wish I could say I excelled at camping from that point forward, but sadly, my skills really didn't progress much past me running amok in a wide open field. My family left the mountains of Colorado shortly after that summer to settle in the hills of Tennessee. We continued camping and I even joined the Girl Scouts for a year or two, but my Girl Scout sash was rather devoid of badges and our family camping trips became more and more sporadic.

Then, I met the man of my dreams and he asked me a very weighted question.

"Have you ever gone fishing?" he asked.
"Not really," I replied. "Once I dipped my uncle's fishing pole into the water when I was about 9 or ten, but that's it."

I didn't realize he was not actually asking me about fishing, but rather, gauging my likelihood as a future spouse. He took me on a fishing trip with his father and brother to a river in the Ozarks of Arkansas and I fell in love again. One look at the riverbank and the burnt out campfire circles and I felt at home. We set up camp right along the bank and I listened to the gentle rushing of water and the wooshing wings of the birds. I passed the fishing test.

A few years later, and after several more fishing trips, my boyfriend and I were married. We then added to the number of campers by having a little boy. He took his first steps at the campsite, surrounded by family and fishing friends. His little feet brushed along the floor of a cabin one night as the sound of the river could be heard beneath our cheers and his giggles. He took more and more steps along the riverbank and soon, he was sitting in our laps with his very own fishing pole, and we guided his casting and reeling. We had another natural camper and fisherman in our midst and as our number grew, camping became more of an event. Of course, we still looked forward to the relaxed atmosphere of camping. We really had no schedules or appoints tying us down. Instead, we had our routines. We would begin the day with a quick jaunt into the river, poles in hand and dressed in wading pants. As the sun travelled the sky, one by one we would leave the river and return at our own times. In the quiet evenings we would gather around the fire and watch the stars and lightening bugs twinkle into existence. We would play games and talk and sometimes just sit and enjoy the quiet.

Then, one day, in between fishing trips, I became a knitter again. I started bringing yarn with me and in the quiet hours of the day, as my little one napped or by the glow of a campfire, I knitted. I knitted hats and socks and swore never again would I wear cotton store bought socks on a fishing trip. I found Knit Picks had a colorway called "Fly Fishing" and I quickly bought enough skeins to make socks for my family. As we camped one autumn, my hands shivered while I knitted and I promised myself I would have wool fingerless gloves for my next winter camping trip. Sometimes, my yarn would come home with bits of leaves and twigs from the campsite. When I found these, I would always smile as I remembered the fish we caught or the stories we told. I would then hold the yarn to my nose and my smile would deepen as I detected the faint smell of a campfire and a hint of the river. If I listened carefully, sometimes, the laughter caught in the yarn from our last trip would escape and tickle my ears again. The spirit of the trip, of the campsite, of our memories would be caught in the yarn and released with every stitch I knit.

1 comment:

paula said...

We go to a cabin every year, which my kids love. They go fishing, walking by the river. I love your essay