"Fly fishing is not about catching the fish. It is about enjoying the water, the breeze, the fish swimming all around. If you catch one, good. If you don't...that is even better. That mean you come out and get to try all over again."
- Clare Vanderpool
Last week I read one of my favorite books of the past few years (in fact, I'm adding it to my top 10 of all time)- Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool. It's the story of Jack Baker, a Kansas boy who moves to Maine to attend boarding school at the end of WWII. His mother has passed away and his dad is in the navy. At school he meets a boy named Early Auden who (against any expectations) becomes his friend, mentor and side-kick.
Early and Jack embark on an adventure quest together over fall break and end up meeting a cast of interesting characters along the way. One of the men they meet happens to save them from a near-death experience in the river and lets them stay with him as they recover. He is a Norwegian with a penchant for fly fishing and a knack for giving great advice.
As they're fishing together and getting frustrated about the lack of catch, he says the quote above. I read it over and over again. "If you don't...that is even better. That mean you come out and get to try all over again." Have you ever heard anything more beautiful, simple, and true in all your life?
I'm adding it to my list of mottos. It's sort of a take on "come what may and love it," but it resonates more with me somehow.
I've never been great at enjoying the journey. I tend to be a "look ahead" person rather than a "enjoy the moment" person and I think it's probably my only constant regret. I'm working hard to remain positive when things are hard and to enjoy the opportunity to try things again that didn't work the first time.
It's hard sometimes, though, to be positive. Take yesterday, for example. I went grocery shopping and got in a car accident on the way home. I won't get into the details, but the story ends with the woman who hit me telling the cops "I had foot surgery on Friday, so my foot hurt too much to put enough pressure on the brake to stop."
I'm a bit shaken up and not wanting to drive anytime soon. But I'm safe and the car is just a car, so I really should just be grateful. I'm lucky that she hit me where she did and that there was a safe place to pull over.
But enough about the sad state of our Honda.
What I really mean to say is: go buy yourself a copy of Navigating Early. If you're like me, you'll want to read it over and over again.