The fisherman came to our house this morning.
We knew he was coming, anticipated his arrival, and mid-morning lit out on a summer adventure we love to take.
The lake up the canyon is always beautiful this time of year. The grass is tall and green, the flowers are just appearing (they are always best in August), and the lake is clean and cold.
We have a favorite spot we visit, driving all the way around the lake and then hiking a short distance down. Some years we have had to carry little ones, this year the little ones carried the poles. Nice.
Fisherman has done this before. He comes prepared with multiple poles and bait, his trusty backpack with everything "fish" and new this time~some small glasses that hang off the rim of his hat. Sweet.
He is also loaded with patience. So necessary as all the little-fishers start demanding "Help me", "My turn", "I'm next". Fisherman doesn't mind. He calmly gets each rod ready and casts out the lines. He is so quiet. Like the calm of the water...just his fingers moving...
Looking and waiting, the boy-Pete is closely observing. He watches fisherman's hands load the little hook, he follows the trail of fisherman's cast behind him and then out into the lake.
You see his eyes follow as fisherman points out the line that the boy must watch, the trace of the translucent line on the water, "Look. Just past those green weeds, you see it?"
The boy watches and watches, and then slowly he starts the process himself. He fingers the hooks carefully with the bait, he watches the baited hook dangle as he passes it behind his head and then swiftly casts it out into the water in front of him.
He doesn't make a show of it. He is quiet in his attempts (until he looses the bait 4 or 5 times), but he isn't wanting the attention. He just wants to try.
Fisherman watches from the side, he doesn't say a word. Calm, quiet, patient...
Over and over again the boy struggles. More bait, more bait, more bait. His fingers mirroring the fisherman in quiet work. He casts again and again.
Then, just like that, with a line pulled taut, he is quietly reeling in. We watch, we highly praise his efforts, we beam with delight as he brings in his catch. Splashing, splatting, flailing mountain fresh trout, yes!
...and slowly, quietly, the boy is becoming a fisherman. We see him continue to bait and cast again and again. The boy's wild heart being fed by the challenge.
Over time, in step, like fisherman, he is helping the little ones. They both call out, "Here, take this one...there you go...reel it in..."
...and each boys reels in a fish...one...two...three...four...five...
The little boys and the sweet little girl all get fish. They caught their fish.
Everyone takes a turn. Everyone gets "me" time, and everyone gets to be "next". They love it.
Delight in young boys faces. They are on an adventure with a real fisherman and they are thrilled. Wild at heart, ready for adventure, wanting to learn, and a fisherman to teach them, this is what little boys are made of (and little girls, too).