This picture is of my Great-grandfather on a Canadian fishing trip circa 1928. That’s him on the right. And correct me if I’m wrong, but those sure look like pre-Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers that he’s wearing. It’s definitely a different era!
I could make this blog post about over-harvesting and things like that, but I won’t.
Instead it will be about what could quite possibly be genetic encoding. I am not a geneticist and this is pure speculation on my part…but I believe that fishing the North is in our genomic composition.
I know that my Grandfather and Father were fishing up there in 1953 or 1954. I’ve been up there 25 or so times. My wife and children have been up there as well…so that’s 5 generations that have fished the North.
I have taken my Father up there fishing with me twice and it was a memorable experience for both of us. And I know all four of my kids are wanting to go back. Three of them have already made multiple trips up there.
I have been to very few places that felt like “home.” As soon as I place the canoe in the water and make the first paddle stroke…it feels like a homecoming. I paddle in silence and just “feel” my way along the rivers and lakes. I feel the embrace of the trees as I make a portage. The smile and laughter of the wind on my face. It seems surreal sometimes and I dare not make a noise that breaks the reverie. I want it to last forever.
I’ve enjoyed sitting on a rock in the middle of the night staring intently at the Northern Lights. The green shimmer waving in and out and side to side. I was told by a First Nations gentleman that what I was seeing was the Ancestors dancing around their sacred fire in the next life. If you stare long enough you can see them. It’s incredible.
I never really knew my Great-grandfather because I was too young. All I remember was him being taken by dementia. I knew my Grandfather and loved hearing him tell stories and showing me things. I only fished with him twice that I can remember…but he enjoyed listening to me tell him about my latest trip up North. My Dad knows…he’s been there and experienced it. Hell, he lives in Canada!
So yah, I like to believe that it is encoded in my DNA and I sure hope I pass it along.
May the wind always be at your back and the sun on your face….