A ten-hour road trip north of home and I find myself in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness, a notorious section of the even more notorious Appalachian Trail. This is my brother’s trip, though. I’m just along for the ride, offering just my driver’s license and extensive knowledge of the perfect s’more.
My brother and his friend are avid fishermen. They discuss fish as if there is no other topic to be discussed. They eat their meals quickly and expel from their seats when they deem socially acceptable in order to make it back to the swimming hole before dark. They happily navigate sluggish brown water down to their waists and then happily pluck squirming leeches from their legs. It’s all part of the job.
It turns out that all people, from 0 to 150 years old, can teach us something. My brother, eight years my junior, has already grasped something it took me much longer to learn: there is more joy in the routine, the effort and the attempt than there is in the catch.
While they fish, I sit in a kayak with my camera and wait to catch the sunlight.