On my first fly fishing excursion in Oregon, I arrived at Eagle Creek expecting nothing but to perfect my cast. I stumbled into the river, balancing myself on slick rocks. When I found my spot, my anxious hands shook as I attempted to tie the fly to the end of the line. After many minutes I was ready to cast. I was running through all of the steps in my head, "Okay, snap to a stop, let the loop develop, make sure the line is loaded before moving forward..." Surprisingly my first cast wasn't too bad. The fly landed upstream of me, with a little less grace then I wanted it to, but it was in the water, not a overhanging tree. I watched as it bobbed its way down, my hands busy pulling in the slack. As the fly crossed in front of me a flash of white lunged out of the water. I tugged back setting the hook. I felt no weight on the other end, but I was still shaking with excitement. Not only did I get the fly in the water, but it was presented well enough to fool a fish into taking a stab at it!
What followed was an afternoon of catching small (maybe 4 inch) baby salmon. I perfected my cast, and was seeing success in targeting the location of the cast.
Today, as I sat in a chair across from my spiritual director, I made a connection between that day, and everything that is currently going on in my life. As Beth and I prepare for Kade, I have felt myself going through the process of grounding. My anxiety and fears could really get the best of me. Instead I have felt as if I have set the stage for understanding, a little better, what it is we need to do to make our lives work as new parents. I feel at ease about making decisions out of a state of clearness.
This process of getting to a place of clearness was one that was initiated by the mystical experience of seeing Kade for the first time via the ultrasound. In the moment when I could see his heart beating, I instantly felt connected to a great cycle. I felt my place within a course of humanity that has seen life come full circle. This is a mystical experience, it changes you. An instant moment of connection.
When the fly was floating down the river I had no expectation that in a matter of moments an unforeseen connection was about to be made. Many have described the mind during flyfishing. It is completely present to the moment. You are in a state of clearness. It is in that state of clearness that you are prepared for a connection to be made. It is your job to make the connection successful, to act when you see the opportunity to connect.
I am hoping that this period of clearness will allow me to make the connections of wisdom and guidance from God that are necessary for discerning what is best for us come April and the months/years after. I need to stay in the river. I need to watch closely.