Monday, March 23, 2009

Fishing and Death

Saturday, March 14, was one of those days that one wishes to forget. Ed Brandon, David's father-in-law, called as Anne and I were on our way to the Rocky River. He shared the expected news that David had died the night before. I made some phone calls to let some friends know and to talk with the Plain Dealer about running an obit on David. One of my favorite memories of David was fishing with him on the Pacific Ocean. So as I walked into the Rocky River that afternoon my thoughts were elsewhere.

The flowing water pressed against my legs and then continued on its journey north. I prayed for David and his family. I watched the current and thought of the swirling currents of life that brought us into contact with others. River water never encounters us again after it flows by, but life is different. Our lives flow and we often encounter the same people and conflicts. Encounters with David were always full of smiles and deep conversations. I will miss discussing ethics, law, and the environment with him.

One of the reasons I love fly fishing is that, ultimately, it requires my attention. The hunt for steelhead demands a level of concentration that clears the mind. I needed to clear my head, and watching my line drift through the green water (cfs 300, water temp 40) did the trick. The line paused, I lifted the rod to set the hook and for a few minutes thought of nothing but the beautiful steelhead putting a large bend in my rod. After a brief fight I landed and released the fish. Her silver sides reminded me of the beautiful tuna David caught in the Pacific. We ate that fish at the Finca that evening. A great memory. We won't be making any more memories at the Finca. And I won't have any new memories with David. But those memories will do.

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