09-11-2006, 09:03 AM
It hardly seems like five years ago, but on this date our lives here in the United States changed forever. Time passes quickly, but let us never forget those who were killed and their families. Also, let's not forget those who work so hard to keep us safe.
I wish peace of mind to everyone on this and every other day.
Let's also remember those who gave their all to save the survivors, often joining the victims in the process. And despite the sadness from loss of life honor the brave with our respect for steering the other aircraft into a harmless field.
09-11-2006, 09:49 AM
I dug this up earlier this year. I apologize for the length. I can't remember, but it may have been in a local newspaper, so I apologize if you have seen it before. I also posted it on my blog last night.
Taken from my journal...
A Different Kind of Day
I sat on the tailgate of my pick-up truck like I normally do while going through the pre-fishing ritual of rigging the rod, checking knots, and choosing a fly. I was in no particular hurry today, despite a lazily rising trout just an easy cast away. In fact, when I did step off the grassy bank into the stream, I passed by the fish and crossed to the other side. I stepped onto the opposite bank and began to walk down a barely visible trail, shrouded by a summerís worth of vegetation. On previous visits I took great care in preserving my waders from the tangles of thorns that served successfully as a deterrent to most creatures. I briskly ducked my way down the path. It was different kind of day, a different kind of fishing trip.
Hidden in the suburbs, this spot is my personal oasis. Deep in a pocket of woods and surrounded by private property, this small run remains hidden and protected. Trout stocked by the state find their way to this small enclave from upstream. Like the rest of the river, they dine on a variety of insects both terrestrial and aquatic, only here the fish enjoy greater portions and thus grow to be noticeably larger than the rest in the river. At the top of the run is a deep pool with undercut banks where I have occasionally lured out nice browns hunkered down for the day. As the pool narrows the current picks up and the water spills down through a pile of medium sized rocks. The passage of the water through these rocks produces a sound unlike any other Iíve heard. Deep in bass and loud for its size, it is sound with meditative qualities. Comforting like the crash of waves on a beach, yet completely alien at the same time.
I discovered this spot on an early autumn day much like this one - near perfect. The sky was blue, air warm, and birds were singing songs of approval - some probably began to second guess their impending trip southward. But, the weather and the wildlife did not drive me deep in the suburban woods that day. Rather, it was a major falling out with my girlfriend. Trivial today, but yet momentous at the time. The argument ended with both parties storming off in opposite directions. By chance that day I had a rod, waders, and tackle with me and I almost instinctively drove directly to the river. I remember it taking me a while to fall into rhythm as I worked downstream, probably spooking every fish in the process. Perhaps it was my inability to present a convincing drift to a fish, or the fact I had deftly placed six flies in the brush behind me, but frustration drove me deeper into new water.
Though my motor skills had settled by the time I arrived, the noise in my head and the constant playback of the events that transpired in the morning kept me from consciously realizing what I had just discovered. It was the runís distinct sound that finally broke through the mental haze followed by the tug of rainbow at the end of my line. After the fish slipped out my hand back into the cool water, the problems of the day began to fade away as if some medication just kicked in.
Whenever the road of life has been a little bumpy, this small run has provided me with an outlet that offered much needed escape. Fishing in general has always helped me to clear my head, however, Iíve never been able to comprehend why. Is it the actual act of fishing? The water? The pursuit of fish? Or is it some metaphysical blend of everything that makes this love affair able to help me find clarity, peace, and enjoyment? Variables such time and place donít seem to matter as I have had just as meaningful experience fishing the Charles River for bluegill as I have had while fishing and exploring the Florida Keys. Yet at this inconspicuous run, place does seem to have significance, otherwise I would not find myself here on a day like today.
Six and a half hours earlier America recoiled in horror when the first of two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, shortly followed by a similar attack on the Pentagon. Thousands are dead, and millions of Americans lives are forever changed. Since the moment I heard of the news and watched with horror the images being broadcast by television channels I have felt sick. I spent the day trying to explain to the children I teach what they were seeing, what was happening, when I didnít understand myself. After the children were dismissed I drove from work in a state of disbelief and shock and I thought that perhaps if I went fishing I might be able to comprehend (or perhaps more selfishly, temporarily forget) what had just happened. It wasnít working. I stood in the river with a rigged rod, fish before me and I could not do thing. Fishing had always provided me with escape and yet I could not lift my rod. I just stood there, listened, and wept.