I spent a good part of the time contemplating luck and how, if he were still alive, we would have celebrated my father’s 98th birthday.
Some folks are just born lucky. Some are born rich, others handsome. Their good fortune can oftentimes be observed throughout the media. Others are born talented, artistically or athletically, which some profit upon if their gift is popular or considered valuable… like flycasting. ;)
Of course, we are all lucky in one obvious way, and some of us are lucky to realize how we are lucky in our own particular way. Not everyone does. My particular, very personal and incredible luck was being born and raised by the man I mentioned above. Those trivial pursuits I “wasted” my week on were all things he passed down to me.
I’m not really the kind to recite poetry, but I know one poem, as they say, by heart:
“To my father” by John Haines:
Last evening I entered a pool
on the Blackfoot River
and cast to a late rise,
maybe the last of a perishing fall.
Light shone on that water,
the rain dimple of feeding trout,
and the deep stillness of boyhood.
And I remembered, not the name
of the river, nor the hill
in Maryland looming beyond it,
nor the sky, a late rose
burning that eastern summer;
but the long, rock pool that whispered
before us, and your voice
steady and calm beside me:
“Try it here, one more time…”
And the fly with its hook floated down,
a small, dim star riding a ripple,
and the bright fish rose
from under its rock, and struck.
Last evening I watch a rise
break again on the still current;
quiet as a downed leaf,
its widening circle in the dusk.