As I age I feel I am approaching the “Now I’ve seen everything” stage of my life. Just when I think “Yep I’m here!” something crops up to show me I have a lot to learn.
Driving down a well used residential street you will eventually come to a crossroads with another well used residential street. The city may have installed a roundabout or a few stop signs to help slow the traffic down, attempting to keep the peace with the neighborhood associations. As the years go by the streets are widened to accommodate the growing populations, some houses are removed that don’t pass city codes and a traffic light goes up. City developers move in like circling vultures waiting for the death of their next meal. We passively call this progress.
On this intersection sits a small community of businesses. Years after the progress, the developers having moved on, the glory and money of the businesses are struggling. Gone are the fancy new, well-kept buildings. Now stands the well-worn shells of yesteryear. A small business owner keeping her beloved frame shop open with little to, no parking and no foot traffic except from the elementary age children on their way to and from school. An office building that rents inexpensive square footage to any businesses that are willing to give up location, visibility and modernizations (although they do have eight parking spaces).
Today in passing by I actually saw movement in that tiny parking lot of the office building. It appeared two men were experimenting with fly fishing. Casting, and pulling, reeling in just to flick and cast again. The only thing missing from this pastoral scene was the scenery. I circled the block, just to take a second look, thinking I had missed something. Nope. Still fishing in the invisible stream, catching invisible fish with their hip waders on.
In my mind I can come up with half a dozen logical reasons for these fishermen to be “parking lot fly fishing”. Yet I kind of like the idea that they were fishing….just fishing. Maybe in their mind’s eye that pastoral scene was there. The majestic mountains rising from a green, flower dappled field, cut through by the clear snow melt stream, rocks shimmering by the splashing water. The sound of rushing water and gentle breezes tickling their ears as they cast and cast again. Touching the surface of the water with their flies, tantalizing hungry fish to come take a bite. A vast expanse of our world carved out in their minds just for them. Enjoying the relaxation of a loved activity.
Sometimes my life is more complicated than I would like and taking time to savor my favorite activities seems as impossible as catching a prize trout from the parking lot. My hope for these two men is when their fly fishing time is right they will be able to uncomplicate their lives so they can fish beyond that concrete parking lot. Just as my hope for everyone is to simplify your lives enough to truly enjoy this one life we are blessed with. Work hard for what you want but play harder for what you need.
Travel well my friends.