He stood on the end of a small floating dock, watching a bobber dance and move as the minnow underneath is pulled and tugged.
With one eye on his live bait, he cast an artificial bait into different parts of a small pond in northeastern North Carolina, hoping with every cast of the lure that a strike would result.
He was doing something he loves, craves and admits he doesn’t get to do nearly as often as he likes.
This particular day was his birthday. He turned 48. He was looking forward to hunting deer in the weeks to come.
But on this special day – being a man who doesn’t want or expect any sort of celebration that actually should be more about his mother than himself – he just wanted to go fishing.
And so he did, enjoying the moments and relishing in what fishing really is about. Sure, catching is great. But it doesn’t really speak to the heart of what angling is supposed to be.
Good thing he knows these simple facts. Because the catching wasn’t very good. A lone, small, catfish was the only taker, saving the efforts from being skunked.
In the end, it didn’t matter.
He knew there would be cake that evening. Family and friends would call and text their happy birthday wishes. The afternoon would feature a good dinner, taking the dogs for a walk, chatting with neighbors.
He’d gotten his wish, though, and gone fishing for a few hours.
It was as good of a birthday present as he could ever hope for.
I know it’s a couple of days gone by, but Happy Birthday, Robert Eason.
I’m proud to have a friend like you who understands the true meaning of fishing – among all the other reasons you are a special person.
And it was a pleasure, no … an HONOR … to spend those few hours at the pond with you.