Isn’t it funny how memories are triggered? I am sitting on the bank with my son, watching our lines float effortlessly across the water. The sun’s rays lazily stream through the mists of the violet colored mountains. The call of crows in a nearby field, coupled with the smell of lake air, took me on a voyage, wandering through my fondest childhood memory. My father and I loved fishing and we treasured these trips together.
Dad crept into my room and quietly awakened me. He said, “Hurry and get dressed, but be quiet so you don’t wake your mother.” I peeked out the window and realized that it was still dark. Dad went outside and started loading our fishing gear into the truck bed. I quickly got dressed into my favorite jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. I darted out of the bedroom quickly but quietly only to be greeted by the person I wasn’t supposed to wake. Mom was in the kitchen holding a brown paper bag. She had gotten up without Dad knowing and prepared us something to eat. Out the front door I leaped like a yearling, with my ball cap, fishing rod and the brown paper bag.
The doors creaked open on Dad’s old truck, sounding like a casket lid on some late night horror movie. The old truck was drafty and the seats were cold in the predawn air and I started to shiver. Dad turned the key and stomped the starter peddle in the floor. The engine roared to life and we were off on our weekend adventure. “What’s the matter,” he asked. “Nothing, it’s a little chilly,” I replied. Dad pulled the old truck off to the side of the road and wrapped me in his woolen jacket. It was warm but scratchy and it smelled of his favorite chewing tobacco. I wriggled around into the jacket and positioned myself so the cold seats weren’t touching my skin. Back out onto the road the old truck bounced as we splashed through mud puddles and navigated the aged roads, with only the headlights to guide our way. Finally, we arrived at our favorite fishing hole.
I was excited to get to spend this time with my father. He was a hard working man that held three jobs, in order to provide for his family. Time with him was a precious commodity and I intended to make the best of it. Dad took my hand and guided me down the narrow dirt path, which was leading to our destination. Once we got there, I fumbled in the darkness to find the bait and was struggling to bait the hook. I was ready to give up, but Dad took over the chore and in no time I was fishing. It didn’t matter if I caught anything as long as I was with my father.
I can see the beginning of the sun’s rays stretching through the mountains and into the dark sky. Gradually the night sky begins to give way to the dawn and the mist is rising from the water like a thin veiled curtain. Gentle ripples are emanating from where my father had just cast his line. It is so peaceful and serene. Suddenly through the silence I hear the crows calling from the field across the water and a rush of lake air permeates my senses. The sun’s rays streamed lazily through the mists of the purple mountains. I look over to ask my father a question, but he is gone. My son is there instead. He looked at me and said “Dad what is wrong?” I smiled and said “Nothing is wrong son, I was just remembering.”