As I reflect over the last ten days, the common theme is the transitions that life requires us to make as we travel along our path. 2020 has been a bizarre year, but history is full of years and periods of years much more tumultuous than ours. The key is how we navigate these waters. I am often reminded of a quote I read years ago, though I do not remember the owner, that goes something like this: “I am not done or undone by the things that happen to me, but rather by my reaction to those things.”
My son is transitioning this year, from high school to the Army and college. The boy who has been my constant fishing and hunting companion for the last decade is now a man and headed off to chart his own course through life. Watching him mature and the evolution of his character has been an education for me as a parent. We spent a day on our favorite little mountain run last week and had a blast on Rainbows. We only landed 50% of our hookups, and it seemed they would hit on anything and nothing all at the same time.
I had dinner with my buddy Steve last week and he brought out his Dad’s old Herter tying manual, old maps, old fly rods and reels, and rod making jigs. As I watch my friend transition through semi-retirement, I was reminded, as we looked through his Dad’s things, that while we have our gear and videos, the old timers were actually much more advanced. They did not have the distractions we allow ourselves to have today. They were true craftsman, artists, conservationists, and naturalists.
Foggy WV morning last week over the lumber yard of the flooring plant I ran for years. This week I transitioned as well to a quiet period of rest and mental relaxation for whatever comes next.
My daughter last week with a dandy farm pond bluegill she caught on my Great-Uncle’s fly rod. She transitions this year to being a High School Senior, still not knowing what that will look like in this Covid-world we live in.
This week the focus is fishing, family, and stillness. Transitions are a natural part of life. Our part is to recognize them, savor them for what they are, slow them down to learn from them, and to embrace what comes next. Amor Fati.