When I was six years old, my dad took me fishing for the first time. It was a weekend of many firsts actually: first camping trip, first fishing trip, first weekend away with my dad.
I remember him being an almost stranger the morning he picked me up, the box of his pick up truck filled with fishing gear and the tent. I remember him being the last resort babysitter for my mom, who had to work out of state that weekend, and so with my dad I was going to stay.
We were only an hour or so outside of the city but that drive felt like forever to the six year old in the passenger seat. But we bonded, over The Clash and London Calling and Tears For Fears and chocolate muffins for breakfast. That was the morning I had my first sip of coffee (and man was it ever good!)
My dad had no idea how to put up our tent (or at least his struggle seemed very real) as I begged and pleaded to go swimming, or to the swings, or anything that wasn’t putting up that damn tent. I didn’t go swimming, and I didn’t play on the swings that weekend, but I did learn to fish. And I loved it. Not so much the fishing part, but being with him for longer than a couple of hours every sunday was good, it felt good to be able to talk and hang and at least pretend like we shared a few interests before we had to return home.
That was the last trip I took with him too, not because we didn’t want to but because our schedules just never seemed to line up. I loved that fishing trip, it was where I developed my love of the outdoors, I don’t fish anymore but I do hike, I climb, I swim, and I love the feeling of being free.