Welcome to my experiment. Today, on the 27th day of May 2008, Elliott caught his first fish. I saw the fish. It was a beautiful little pan fish from grandma and grandpa's pond. I am officially tracking the origins and progressions of a real live fish story. The kind where goldfish from a child's fishbowl grow into whales; sometimes fed by a child's imagination, but more often by the fading memory of exuberant adults.
Make no mistake, there was shear excitement when Elliott got to show me the "pish" he and grandpa caught. They let it swim the afternoon away in a bucket. Elliott was on to bigger things soon after it was put there while the fish spent most of the day wondering exactly what time I would arrive from work so the kid could show off his big catch - he obviously had better things to do.
Driving home I thought about how nice it is to be a kid. To discover so many things for the first time and truly have the opportunity to appreciate the small things. To be at a point in life where the small things are really the big things. I tried hard to think back and establish when exactly that all starts to change.
I had counted back as far as my late teens (which isn't all that far back relatively speaking) when I crossed the James River. I noticed three men fishing under the bridge in a small boat. As I briefly focused on them a large fish jumped out of the water a few yards behind them leaving a ripple that I could see from well above. I've crossed this bridge many times the last few months. Most days I've spent bemoaning the traffic, looking at my office rising above the downtown and thinking about work or contemplating a million other things I needed to do to keep pace with this busy world.
I wondered just how much of the big stuff in our lives that constantly blinds us to the small stuff really is big. How much of it is big because a world spinning out of control sold us on that notion and we made it the salesman of the ages. I think there is probably more room in a day for all of us to allow the small things at least a moment on the big stage.
I know the next time I'm stuck in traffic on that bridge I'm looking for that fish to jump. When it does, I'll excitedly turn to Elliott and say "Did you see that shark jump; it had to be at least a hundred and fifty pounds!"