A big part of my growing-up years was fly fishing. When my sister, brother and I reached grade school age, we were schooled in fishing by our parents.
At first we used a worm on a hook, strung on a fancy bamboo fishing rod. This was a relatively easy way to learn to fish. It was exciting to catch a fish. and it brought a certain amount of satisfaction, along with praise from our parents who both had a passion for fishing. Fly fishing to be exact.
This is my dad.
The goal, of course, was for the kids to move on from being “wormers” – yes, that is a real term, to becoming polished fly fishing persons. If you ever reverted to fishing with a worm, it was a moment of real shame. The reverse was pride in one’s self and membership in the elite family of fly fishing.
Well yes, this was a long time ago.
There was real joy in this pastime. It required skill, which often brought success. It was solitary, as the protocol for fly fishing was to go solo. At the end of the day it was great fun to gather and show off the “catch”. And then fry them up for dinner!
While I don’t fish anymore, part of my identity remains that of a fly fishing woman. I became quite adept at doing battle with the wily adversary. My fishing vest – complete with flies still attached to the sheepskin – still hangs in my closet.
A few years ago, a new vanity license plate that supports the organization Trout Unlimited was issued. I got myself to the DMV soon after. To add a bit of sweetness to this act, it turned out the license design was done by a local artist. I drove straight from the DMV to Broderick Crawford’s gallery in town. He was thrilled to walk outside to take a look because he had yet to see his artwork displayed on any car.
For a number of reasons the placing of this license plate on my new car was significant. For one thing it had been pretty mangled in my Miata accident. Fortunately Evan was able to straighten it out enough to pass DMV inspection in order to install the plate on Sarton. Now a piece of the old is affixed to the new.
It’s me placing my identity on this car. As I re-define parts of my identity, I retain much of the old, while establishing the new.
Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher and theologian, said Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
So with a glance back to explain the import of my recent action, I’ll now turn to the road ahead. I’ve many miles to go.