Spring always takes me to a happy place in my mind. When those first buds start to show on the trees, I’m sitting by Bowery Run on Pumping Station Road fishing for Trout. No matter where I am in the world, in my mind, I’m sitting by that creek, fishing pole in hand, fishing…
The first day of trout fishing was always a big deal in my little corner of Pennsylvania. My Uncle would be out for weeks before it all began scoping out the best place for us to go. I would make sure my waders didn’t have any hole in them, my pole was prepared for the weight of all the trout I was going to catch, and I had all the accoutrement that was required for trout fishing. You know… a new hat, hooks, sinkers, pliers, a ruler to make certain the fish was large enough to keep, salmon eggs, worms, and my favorite… a can of sweet corn. This can of corn was the butt of many jokes by my Uncle until I caught more fish with my corn than he did with whatever he was using! Then we never discussed it again.
My Uncle would always walk me to a wonderful “hole” along the stream where he assured me that the fish were just waiting for me. I’m not a walker of the stream. I’m a find a hole and sit kind of gal. I would place all of my things around me, place the corn on the hook, and cast into the hole. And then I would wait. And wait. And wait… I would open my thermos of coffee, eat some of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, all the while casting and waiting. My Uncle would pass by a few times as he went up and down the stream, and I would wave and smile, and tell him I was just fine. He would show off the fish that he’d caught, and tease me about my corn and laugh as he left me by the stream still casting with my corn into the hole. If I had days that were better than those; I certainly don’t remember them.
As I look on it now, it was never about the fish for me. It was about being by the creek, listening to the sounds of the water rushing by me, hearing the birds singing their springtime tunes, and smelling those scents only found in the woods. It was about sharing that time with my Uncle and gathering those memories that still make me smile some 35 years later. He taught me about birds and plants and how to know where the fish were, and I taught him of catching fish with corn!
In this world filled with craziness, perhaps the only thing we can really do for ourselves is be happy with the simple joys of just living. I understand for those who are losing everything they have, there is certainly not much joy to be found. And I also understand that in this world where nothing is as it seems, and there are more lies than truth, finding something to rejoice in seems futile at times.
There is goodness to be found, not so much in our elected officials, but it’s there in the hearts of those who haven’t been jaded by money and power. It’s there in memories of sweet Uncles and long ago fishing holes, and cans of sweet corn. It’s in each of us, the trick is to find it and not let it be taken away by hatred and fear and greed…