GRANDPA VS. FISH
My daughter and my two grand children stopped by for a visit one early fall afternoon. After dinner, we all piled into my daughters van and headed up to a small lake that my husband, Darrell, had discovered while looking for a new fishing hole. The gravel road that had brought us there, curved around the long side of the lake allowing us full access for fishing, just right for Grandpa and Grandson. This small lake was tucked away from time, lost in rolling hills, fir and pine. A gentle place for escape. The bank was a few feet higher than the lake and tall reeds were in pockets extending three to eight feet out from the shore. Because of the sunís retreat, steps were being taken to close down the lake for the night. The wind was off tending to other chores and had left us a mirror refection of the surroundings. A few days back my husband and I had ventured up to this same lake, late at night, to take pictures of the Northern Lights. Even then the reflection of the aurora in the lake suggested itís beauty.
Within moments Grandpa was teaching his six year old grandson the fine art of fishing. With Darrellís kind words, trust and love the fishing lesson began to took hold. Not with the expertise but with determination, eagerness and the desire to catch a fish. Even though several casts of the fishing pole caused the adults to run in every directions the bobber always found deep waters. We watched as the bobber hit the waters surface hard enough to give a fish a concussion. Darrell hoped that the live worm was still intact. Between each cast our grandson waited patiently for the fish to bite. The bobber jumped to the nibbles of the fish. He snapped the pole back with such force we wondered if he was ripping the hook right out of the fishes mouth. But still Darrell talked to him calmly and reassured him that his attempts would bring success.
My grand daughter had fallen asleep on the way there and was now taking a long needed rest. My daughter and I took pictures of the twilight moments. There were a few cirrus clouds that found the sun rays which echoed their color into the blue water. The air was full of camera clicks, a childís smiles and words of encouragement.
Even though there had been lots of nibbles after 30 minutes the hook remained fish less. One of the last cast of the evening was over a group of reeds located 8 feet from the shore.
My grandson handed over the fishing pole to Grandpa. Darrell whipped the pole in all directions trying to reclaim the bait. After five minutes of unsuccessfully yanks the line broke. The bobber, weights, hook and worm remained with the reeds. The fish had no idea things had change up above the wet and continued to bite at the worm. The bobber repeatedly disappeared only to returned to the surface. And then to our surprise, the fish took the hook and tried to run away with the bobber. The reeds held fast and strong as the bobber disappeared but the fish could not free itself. Laughter found its way along this waters edge. They had caught a fish without even trying. My grandson giggled and bounce along the shore edge.
Darrell felt sorry for the fish, not wanting it to suffer, so he took off his shoes and socks, rolled up his long pants legs and started wading. He had no idea how deep it was. Every few steps Darrell adjusted his pant legs to meet the rising waters. But alas, the depth covered the legs and moved up towards the torso. We all waited to see what fish had gathered so much attention. Darrell reached and unwound the line only to find the fish has made its own escape. With the bobber in hand and water marks heading for his belt, Darrell came back to shore. At this point I could not stop laughing. I love moments that touch the laughing heart, that break the norm, and leave us a little lighter then when we came. I wonder what my grandson will remember of this fine evening? Him casting for fish or Grandpa wading in for the bobber?
Darrell wanted to show his grandson what kind of fish had been nibbling on his bait all evening. He repaired the line so he could cast out one more time. The coming of darkness had brought on a quietness to the evening. Darrell sat down on the ground and called his Grandson to come over and sit on his lap. Together they held onto the pole. It was two chins locked, eyes ever forward, old wise, young new, sitting in a moment of time waiting for a split second of a nibble. Never again would there be a moment just like this. The softness of the setting sun had calmed us all down and helped released the busy day. Within a short time the bobber disappeared. Grandpa set the hook and released the pole to his grandson so he could bring the four inch crappie on to the shore for a visit. The child explored this fine creature and then Darrell released it back to the waters for some one else to enjoy. My grandson thought Grandpa was pretty funny and had a wonderful time. As the darkness took away our visual, we followed the sun home, and each family went their own way. The sweetness of an evening is not that which we control but that which comes to surprise us on an evening by the lake.