Nine thousand five hundered feet in elevation, give or take. Spinning reels and spinning hopes. Floating line and a whipping fly. Flashing lures and flashing grins. Speckled sides, sleek and wet. A stringer full. Cleaned at lake's edge, then packed on ice. Ready for the brine and some alder smoke, lunch the next day, with coleslaw and mac & cheese.
You say you're fishing for trout, but you know that's not fully so. Really, you're casting for quiet, for slow, for memories, for moments. For wisdom and sharing.
You've caught it full.
* * *
It's okay to write two-posts-in-one, isn't it?
I thought so.
He pulled up to the table, hair wet and shaken loose, dressed in gray. He likes gray. Tore into that omlette and those steaming biscuits; drank the cold milk. His leather gloves were ready by the door, right there with the tools he'd need.
He's a working man, now. Thirteen years will do that to a boy. He's all tall and square-jawed and handsome. Steady. He forks another bite and you remember the little guy he was just moments ago. You almost say something about that little guy then, and this big guy now, but that's your way, not his. Instead, you mother-speak, "Make sure you address her as Mrs. Ackman," and other things he already knows. He swigs the last of the milk, takes his dishes to the counter.
He already knows.
There he sits and reaches down low, ties up his shoes. You look over and see all that he is. It fills you clear up and drains you right out at the very same time.
There's no hug or high-five this morning. But in the last moments, you wrap him with this:
"I'm sure proud of you, Buddy."
He stands up tall, gathers his things and heads out the door.