Fishing for Ideas

Summertime brings with it so many anticipated pleasures. Warm, sunny days, swimming pools, beach time, ice cream treats, just to name a few….. Family road trips offer that chance to have some relaxed time together. In some cases, even trying new activities.

I just shared a few days in western PA with my family and it was a nice change of pace. We did find time to relax and enjoy some outdoor activities together. As our children get older it gets harder to find activities that we can all do together. Teenage boys are so happy to try the adventurous activities that involve ziplines and ropes and other things that make my stomach flip just watching them.

So, on a particular afternoon, I was talked into an excursion that involved a trip to the woods. We went together and learned the basics of fly fishing. For all of my friends who might be reading this, I know you are laughing as you picture what this might have looked like.

The instructor had interesting fly fishing stories and facts to share with us. I had never considered the art and style that the truly talented fishermen find so appealing. He explained that he takes great pride in making his own flies to use as bait. He considers the color and design of each one, as fish in different local areas are tempted by varying levels of creativity. He shared that he likes to cast his line a good distance and follow the behaviors of the unsuspecting trout. He then relies on that 20-year-old eyesight to see that subtle movement on his line.

As I stood and patiently waiting to catch tons of fish, the serenity of the beautiful PA mountains put me in a mood to contemplate.

Parenting is a bit like fly fishing. We are constantly trying to keep our children interested in learning the important things in life. They need to study and do well in school and then head off to sports, dance, or music instruction. We want them to do all of that with success so we try to think of ways to keep them focused and excited about learning. We need to have interesting flies on that line so they will notice it and keep grabbing for it.

This time of year, the volunteers here at The Giving Tree are working on new service plans and ideas. We want to be sure to cast our lines with creative projects and lessons that will keep our youth excited to help others and spread that kindness. They need to keep active and keep doing the hands-on work so that they will not forget the importance of kindness and compassion. Be sure to work with us and together we can teach our students that there are no days off for Giving Back. We need to spread kindness like confetti every day.

So, our fly fishing adventure ended with some laughs and some pictures. I did not catch any fish, which I am secretly thankful for. I am not sure what I would have done then. That’s between us, though. Don’t tell the family!!!