The Soul of a Fisherman
There are things that only a fisherman is blessed to witness:
Who in this world would get up early before the morning light to be on the boat in the quiet hours when most people are still sleeping? Only the fisherman sees the majesty of the sunrise over the eastern horizon of the ocean as he or she pounds out to the deep blue waters of the Gulf Stream.
Most of us can see the glory of God in a William Blake painting as the clouds open to reveal the magnitude of the universe. The fisherman needs no work of art for he or she begins the day in awe and splendor and appreciation of nature’s handiwork.
A fisherman hears a different drummer as well. The steady drone of the boat’s engine(s) underway is what the wise pescador’s ears are tuned to. Later in the day, the shrill cries of seabirds or the whistling of wind may replace the engine noise but, underway, the fisherman is tuned to that steady monotone that carries the boat to the fishing grounds and back home to shore.
Fishermen feel things far differently that landlubbers cannot fathom. Through their fingertips, sensitive fishermen feel the slightest bite or the line dragging through different types of bottom. Every movement of an experienced fisherman’s body is timed with the tempo of the ocean.
The senses of both smell and taste of an ocean or Chesapeake Bay fisherman are dominated by salt. The salt air clears his or her head, physically and spiritually.
The salty taste of spray on the lips evokes an appreciation of the fresh water conserved for drinking. However, the fisherman is most likely to consume salty simple foods like saltine crackers, canned salted fish, or those Toastchee crackers that seem to be a staple food of the tackle box. Variety and spice are best found in restaurants and kitchens. Bananas should be left at home. Salt is the common denominator at sea.
Equipped with a rod and reel or a simple hand line, the fisherman is not armed to do battle with his or her neighbor. Fishermen are united in pursuit of their undersea quarry. The brotherhood of fishermen is worldwide and we only wish more women might have the cosmic awareness to join our ranks.
The greatest spiritual leader this world has known sought simple fishermen to carry His message way beyond the boundaries of his homeland far into the future.
In a world where criminals run rampant, politicians lie, cheat, and earn the public’s mistrust, and selfish behavior is not only condoned but rewarded, there are a few folks who have the soul of a fisherman.