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Fishing for Thoughts

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Fishing for Thoughts
I have rather an unusual favourite fishing spot. I have been there many times with my rod and tackle. Many times have I cast in my line. But I have never caught a fish there - not once.

I discovered this spot when I was 18 years old. I was going through a hard time, not getting on with my family and, truth be known, not really getting on with myself either.

One day after a particularly nasty outburst at my parents, my father took me to one side. He gave me his old fishing rod and his tackle box.

"You need to go and fish," he said.

I thought he was stupid. I stood and stared at him.

"Go and find a place and fish," he repeated.

I threw his rod and gear in the back of the car and screeched down the driveway in a cloud of dust.

I drove for a while until I came to a particularly beautiful bridge over the Campaspe River. Muttering to myself, I got out of the car and walked along the sandy river bank until I found a peaceful spot under a beautiful old river red gum tree.

I baited the hook and cast in my line before settling back against the tree. Time seemed to slow as I watched the water swirling and rippling over branches and twigs in the water.

As I sat there that afternoon letting the hours wash around me, my mind began to clear and a sense of perspective returned. I realised that some things just weren't important enough to fight over and that I needed to learn to let go of the things that didn't matter.

I returned home without any fish. Dad just smiled at me - he knew I had caught what I needed that afternoon.

I have often returned to my fishing spot, with my rod and reel. I have never caught a fish - but I have always returned with a deeper understanding of something far more important - myself.

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