When I drive to the river before dawn on a Saturday morning, the sky is dark, the roads are empty, and my mind is clear. I decided this morning not to play music. It was silent in the car.
I’m trying to be more mindful in my everyday moments. Rather than worry without end, I just watch my worry. I recently met Nataly Kogan, and she raved about Michael Singer’s book, The Surrender Experiment.
I bought it. It was amazing, and so, I’m now reading his other book, called The Untethered Soul. I think it’s even better. It was a New York Times #1 best seller, and I’m late to the game in reading it. Better late than never.
I don’t think I can adequately summarize either book. There’s too much richness in them.
I don’t meditate. I don’t know much about Zen or Buddhism. I’m grateful that the books have pushed my thinking. Also, I am surprised that they’re very much in sync with my Catholic beliefs: work hard, be at peace, and good things will happen.
So, there I was today at 4.30 am, in the car. When it’s silent, my mind wanders. I think about my challenges, both business and personal. I ruminate. This morning, rather than get caught up in them or suppress them, I just observed them and let them ebb and flow.
I arrived at the river. No one was around. I rigged up my fly rod in the dark. It was darn cold and the forecast high was for 36° F. In such conditions, the trout will be lethargic. I wasn’t expecting much action, frankly.
I breathed in the crisp, clean air. I walked to, and then into, the water. I tried to tie knots that were beautiful and true. I listened to the soft sounds of fly line moving back and forth. I watched the fly floating down river. Over and over.
I changed flies.
I started to get agitated, but, then, just decided I wouldn’t be. Then, things just naturally happened. I hooked a fish. And, another.
An angler saw that and greedily started to move in towards me. It annoyed me, and so, I politely asked him to move away and offered to give him my choice spot later, which I did. I never before have spoken up when people crowd me on a river. I usually just grit my teeth. It felt good to speak up.
And, the fish kept coming to the net. On what should be a slow day, I landed about 10 trout, all pretty large. One was 17″, a very, very good size.
I stopped fishing at 12 noon. I was cold and headed to the car. I sipped hot coffee from my thermos, the warmth of it heating up my very cold inner core. I went to the freeway. I saw car after car, many loaded with luggage and holiday gifts.
I drove back home.
When I arrived, I popped open a beer can. Caught up with Mrs. T. and made her laugh. Then, I played hoops with some of my children. Some bad shots by me, but many laughs from all of us.
They’re a great bunch of children: honest, sincere, and hardworking. Am so proud of them. Peers respect them, teachers and coaches like them.
Now, it’s dusk. And, owls in the backyard are hooting, and I’m listening to one of my favorite songs. An interesting day, all in all. It’s fun to observe my inner thoughts and not react to them.
A good day. A “true” day.