Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rites of Passage

We are going to a special place today, just you and me.

Roads lost lines and width, winding back toward the mountain. Where are we going, the song of choice, his fingers peeking out the window to play in the wind. As asphalt becomes gravel, turning ever more to dirt, a quizzical smile dances across his face. Wheat waves lazily on the breeze, surrounding our departure from the vehicle, picking our way down a rough etched path through the leaves. Pits break the smooth polished rock outcropping, leftover sand from a beach long forgotten. eroded into the river.

Our first cast watches the bobber dance then disappear, his glee complete in his first catch, ever. All two inches flop in his outstretched hands, giving high fives between tail and fingers, before sliding back beneath the cool surface. Two more, gaining size in centimeters follow quickly, the hand crank spinning in his grasp.

One more and it is time to go.

The bend in his pole threatens to pluck him from his perch, dragging his heels toward a wet embrace. Scrambling, my hands wrap his as we wrestle the full weight of the mighty behemoth into the light. The long red gash of a mouth, framed by whiskers, gives way to hollow black eyes inset in soft green flesh and his scream pierces the calm...

Throw it back! Don't pull it up!

Hysterical fear drips from his voice until the large catfish flops back to the murky depths from which we had pulled it. Done, he is ready to head back to the car to follow the winding roads back to the safety of home.

Cole caught four fish today. The first was his first, the last may be his last. Achieving what he desired, he realised it was not what he wanted. This time he got to throw it back, though that's not always the case.

15 comments:

otin said...

You paint such a pleasant picture of a day fishing, now I have to go to work! :(!

Daniel said...

Nice story here and nice message too. I can hear Garth Brooks singing about the best gifts sometimes being unanswered prayers. Have a great day.

Lorraine said...

I love this as always, such a beautiful moment in your words, and I like the ending ;)

Goofball said...

what an experience for him to remember!

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Brian, you have created a beautiful memory for your son. My fondest childhood memories are from the times spent fishing with my dad - even when he would bribe me with money so I would stop talking :)

Wings said...

Great little peek into your day! I am with Cole, though. I bet that fish would have scared me as a kid, too! Throw it back!

Candie Bracci said...

This is so beautiful Brian!Thanks God it's not always the case!

willow said...

This was a sweet post, Brian, and brought back many fond memories of fishing with my grandparents when I was a girl.

lakeviewer said...

What a beautiful description of a day fishing with your boys. The end is stunning in its simplicity.

subtorp77 said...

Somehow I just knew it was a catfish! And a life lesson Cole has realised: indecision? Perhaps. Too many choices we make later in life, we regret because we forget these early lessons...

Joanna Jenkins said...

A day you will both never forget. :-)
Wonderful story, beautifully told.

Brian Miller said...

@otin - was a great little time, until the beast rose up and scared the daylights out of cole. it was a rather ugly fish, and large so it probably looked as if it could swallow him.

@daniel - and sometimes they are...

@lorraine - smiles.

@goofball - yeah, try to make each day memorable, even in its regularity.

@travel - ha. make lots of money? i don't have find fishing mems as a kid. swore it off for years, but do it for my boys and rather enjoy it now.

@wings - yeah if you would have seen it, it was a beast.

@candie - yes, thankfully.

@willow - always glad to bring back fond memories.

@lakeviewer - ty. smiles.

@subtorp - too true. great part 2 of the story by the way. need to go back and comment. yesterday was a beast, so got to read but...

@joanna - ty. really enjoyed your post of the random comments...

subtorp77 said...

Brian, no worries! Will be interesting to see where Megan takes part3( and who she tags )...

Debbie said...

You write so well, I feel like I was there watching you fish. Great story.

The Retired One said...

As soon as you described the fish, I knew it was a catfish..and I am from the north!
They scare the crap out of me too, and I am 56. ha
Now you have me craving a trip out today on the lake to fish. (We live on a lake).
I got the same thrill watching my grandson catch his first fish. He was so excited.
Then, when he was 4, he caught a huge pike all my himself (with some coaching and the use of a net to get him up on the dock). He ran up to tell me and couldn't get it out he was so breathless.
Loved this post!