I love to fish. There is nothing better than standing on a quiet edge of the lake, early in the morning throwing out my line and hoping for a bite. But, given my most recent fishing expedition, one would assume that I’d never fished in my life. Perhaps my gear was faulty, my bate was sub-par, or my technique was lacking. Looking at my most recent catch, one would think that I required fishing 101 classes.
I had a #10 hook on a 6-pound line with whole kernel corn as bate. I cast into the pond dozens of times and with each toss of the line I retrieved bass after bass, fish after fish, none of them more than a good 3-inches in length. Not a single one worth keeping. Not a single one considered a trophy bass or a specimen worth mounting. It was quite a disappointing day.
Just a few weeks before, I had the same hook, the same line, and the same canned-corn bate and with every cast, I was lucky enough to hook into one whopper carp after another. They put up a great fight. They thrashed and pulled. They gave me every penny of my money’s worth on the 65-cent can of corn and the time I invested.
And here’s the thing about fishing…perhaps even about life: Both days were a joy. One day you catch next to nothing. Another day you catch almost more than you can pull in. Of course, in this instance, neither were something I would eat, but that was beside the point. The point is that both days were filled with the sun shining, birds singing, and breezes blowing. I saw swan and ducks, heron and geese. Red-winged blackbirds and chipping sparrows called from cattail and willow branches. Turtles poked their heads above the water line and watched me enjoy the view.
I went to catch fish and came home with none. Instead, I came home with joy and peace for time spent at the waters’ edge, taking in the beauty all around. And for that, I’m very grateful.