Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fishing—A Sense of Wonder

We decided yesterday morning, due to weather developments in the mid-Atlantic, to stay put in Dublin, Georgia for another day or so.  It appears that temperatures at home will be below freezing whenever we get there this week, so this evening I’ll re-winterize Odysseus (add antifreeze to the plumbing system) to prevent any complications.  (Yes, of course, I brought antifreeze along.  Three years ago we encountered 16° in Mississippi and I couldn’t find any RV antifreeze anywhere in the southland!)

I’m beginning to wonder if they even have earthworms here in the South, for after turning over rocks, logs and pulling up bogs, I could not find a single worm to use as bait for those catfish awaiting my hook at the pond.  I was not to be defeated, however, and came up with the clever idea of using bread and peanut butter as bait.  I caught three catfish—and fed a hundred.  The bread would not stay on the hook very well—sometimes it would fall off the hook as I cast the line, at other times the bread would become soft and just fall off the hook as I reeled the line in.  But three catfish are better than none—and why not feed all the fish at the same time?  It was great fun.

Fishing is much more than catching fish for me (though catching a fish every once in a while helps).  It is an experience of wonder.  To watch the painted turtle swim from bank to bank, to see the dragonflies dart above the surface of the water on their gossamer wings, to see the water ripple as a fish swims out from under the algae along the shoreline, all this fills me with a sense of wonder—it always has—and I suppose it always will.  

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand (writes William Blake)
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”

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