An early start to the day provides hope of being the first on the water. Fishing as the mist begins to rise off the stream is on my mind as I pack my gear into the truck. A kiss from my wife and a travel mug full of coffee, and I’m on the road. It’s dark as I drive, leaving the highways for the winding farm roads that follow the land. As I arrive at the stream, the sun rises to highlight the golden edges of the rising fog, evolving the setting from dark and eerie to bright and hopeful.
Rigging the line through the guides of the rod and lacing up my boots, my anticipation builds for time on the water. Crisp air greets me as I walk down the trail. I brush against the branches of small trees and observe a promising run where I will start my day. The water rolls across a stony, boulder-framed riffle and falls into a long run, where the white bubbles from the foamy turbulence obscure the transition from clear, rapid shallows to a deeper greenish-blue tinted water line. A picturesque run. My smile lifts my spirit and my posture strengthens.
I sit and tie on a large caddis fly with a pheasant tail dropper as I strategize where to cast. Carefully wading so as to not create a wake, I take a position downstream of the run where I can cast without crossing multiple current seams or getting caught in the overhanging tree branches. My left hand pulls line from the reel, and I measure a false cast along the water’s edge. Turning slightly, I change the angle of the cast and place the flies in a line along a trajectory traveling from the white froth along the darkened water. A flash of gold and the head of a brown trout breaks the water’s surface to devour my fly. I breathe and lift the rod, lodging the hook into the fish.
The large brown trout barrels downstream. I quickly change the angle of the rod to redirect the fish to face upstream and into the current. I keep pressure on the fish as it fights against the line and the force of the stream. In a few moments, I feel the fish’s energy wane, and I direct the 18” brown into my net.
This moment didn’t actually happen to me; it happened in the words generated by my imagination. This represents “a perfect day of fishing”, or the beginning of one. I was asked this week, if I had a perfect day of work, what would it look like. At first, I dismissed the question. Nothing is ever perfect. Right? I was planning on writing my blog on Sunday night, and instead of having dinner with my family and then writing, I got a stomach virus. I spent the majority of Monday and Tuesday sleeping. Definitely not a perfect week. So far.
How to spend our time, our energy, and our dreams are the choices we get to make every day. Sometimes our bodies need to rest from injury, illness, stress, or grief. But what if we looked at every day as perfect? No matter the way our bodies felt, how our minds struggled, what tasks laid before us, or what weather impacts our surroundings, we are meant to experience each moment. There is perfection in what we need to learn each day. Even the days with the stomach flu.
How would you spend the perfect day? How can you see each day as perfect?