Change in all things is sweet.
I don't walk as fast, with as much enthusiasm, as I used to. I'm prone to stop more often, for as good a reason as any to just simply take in the view. And in these extended moments, I now see far more, and with better clarity, than what I saw with younger, sharper eyes.
My fishing, indeed every facet of my passion for casting flies to trout, reflects this 'change'. The word change may be a rather abrupt way of describing what has probably (and quite imperceptibly at first) been slowly permeating my pursuit of this passion for awhile now. Blessedly, there are vantage points along our ways that reveal to us just how our lives have changed, and how most times that change is for the best.
And, I think, that suits me very well. Better, now, is it when I look back. When I see the old photos which are always clipped in our minds to the memories in between the pictures. The days and years unwind again and open like a book and I see myself, framed in the times, no conceivable way of understanding where it was I was to be years from that point.
All of these thoughts swirl through my head as I stand on a small muddy promontory flanked by cattails, casting across the gently moving currents to a regularly occurring ring two or three feet off the bank some forty feet down and across from my position. The breeze comes lightly from the west against my left side, and as I lengthen my cast, measuring the distance, I am quietly rejoicing in the feel of the pull as I start forward with each cast; how beautiful the loop appears as it extends out over the early morning reflection of the sun on the water. And finally, even now, after all the years of fishing, the silent triumph of my fly landing softly at line's full extension in the center of the expanding ring. Time was when this went unnoticed. Time was when the target was everything, to the point that getting there was taken for granted, and sometimes not even achieved. Now, it is a simple, but glorious moment, quite aside from the context of the bigger picture. Everything in its time.
I understand that now, and that brings a smile as I watch my fly drift downstream with the gentle current.