Yesterday, we went fishing. No one caught a fish but I think the idea of fishing caught me. I like the idea of casting a line out into the river of life to see what we might hook. I carried this thought with me as I headed out the door for my walk but I had yet to really make peace with it.
Random thoughts float around my head. I cast but do not catch anything. Frustration flashes across the surface. My walks are usually full of inspiration. Maybe I’m trying too hard. Random runners and walkers meet me. I decide to smile at each of them or at least offer a friendly nod. It’s hard to be frustrated and smile at the same time. I think of smiling at everyone I meet today. It’s hard to smile and be afraid.
I realize that I really am timid inside even after all the years and all the years of forcing myself to ignore my fears. The fears haven’t really disappeared. I’ve just learned to live with more of them. But fear isn’t what I’m fishing for this morning. I want something liberating, something profound, something I haven’t really known before. It’s a tall order for a summer morning and I am trying too hard.
I hold the fragmented thoughts under the sunlight, hoping that the sun will make them glisten and I will see a beauty or at least a clarity that was always there but yet to be discovered. All I see are broken pieces. Another stranger passes. Another smile.
The Queen Anne’s lace has taken center stage alongside the trail. It’s graceful stalks sway underneath delicate clusters of flowers. I cast my thoughts at the roots. There is meaning here if only I can see it.
I pass the half way point and turn back. My feet move mechanically. My mind is not really with them. This separation between mind and body troubles me. The word integration breaks away from the fragments. I cast my line after it.
The realization that I am greater than the sum of the fragments does not reach me in a flashy ‘ah-ha’ moment. The trail doesn’t speak to me. I don’t hear a strong clear voice in my head. This time I have to chase after the idea and then reel it in. I visualize holding the thought fragments in my hands. Hoping to catch the light, I raise them up. Life feels like a dream. I am lost to the moment. I’ve made the ending more important than the casting and the waiting. I am not honoring the moment. Life passes by. A string of singular moments held together by a fragile thread. There is always a beginning and an end. Focusing on those two known points, I lose the present moment.
I cast again and wait. There on the shore, I look at the fragments and for the first time see the hands holding them. The hands are whole. They are mine. Thoughts come and go. The float on the river. They are not me nor do they define me. They are too small. I let them go and wait. The sun is warm on my skin. The breeze soft and gentle. I smile at another stranger. I spread my thoughts on the waters and say goodbye as I head for home.