Fishing In The Park

photo by Casey Keal

It’s interesting how we age in this life.  Our body’s age every day, but our souls, our minds grow according to what we put in them, what we feed them.  I am so thankful for memories and how our minds store information.

I remember being about 5-6 years old, warm spring days, and dad making us all get up really early to go fishing.  I don’t remember the park where we went; just that it was a stocked pond.  We each had a bamboo fishing pole with a bucket of worms for bait.  I hated putting the worm on the hook, I felt so bad about hooking the poor thing.  My dad would walk over and put it on for me half the time because I would take so long.

We would always park then walk over to a part of the bank of the pond with a big tree.  It was nice on those warm spring days to stand or sit under the tree by the water.  It didn’t really matter that we weren’t expert fishermen.  There were a few times we caught little trout, but we just looked at them then let them go. 

 I remember my brother taking a big swing with his fishing rod, swinging the line way out, hooking dad’s hat and sending it flying out towards the water.  Mom would stand by the bank and laugh and get a little frustrated over not actually catching any fish.

On those banks I heard stories of how mom used to fish with her sister and brother for their dinner.  Sometimes they would eat fish for breakfast too, though mostly they ate flapjacks and biscuits. 

It’s funny how sometimes those days seem so distant that they can barely be remembered, but now and then I see a large sprawling tree standing by a pond and I remember the laughter while we tried to learn to fish.

I remember the squish of the mud between my toes when I took off my shoes.  How I loved to look in the water and watch the minnows playing around the wispy grass and moss on the rocks close to the shoreline.  I even remember the smell of the water, the warm air, listening to the birds sing and feeling the sun shining down through the branches. 

I remember being tired at the end of the day, folding up the lawn chairs, putting the cooler in the back of the station wagon then crawling in the back on top of a blanket and falling asleep on the way home. 

I loved those days spent with my family.  You might think that kids don’t remember, but I do, and even on days when things seem so rushed and hectic, there are times when I look back on childhood memories and I’m thankful for the moments spent in the sun in a time that wasn’t so rushed.

Cherry Coley ©

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