It started with Dad, years ago. It began in beauty.
I hung the waders in the attic over the garage the year he died. Once every so very often, they would find a stream.
There were sparse Beaverkill trips that masked a sad search for a man I couldn't find, no matter how many times I could swear he was just around the next bend in the river. The fish did not matter.
There was a splash of stream-side manner in California, hanging the wrong fly in the wrong stretch of water at the wrong time of year. It was a cast into the dark of a search for who I was at a time of uncertainty. It settled me temporarily and the fish did not matter.
Another long lapse as the waders grew dryer and dryer. Cracks in the boots and dry rot in the old Hodgman suspenders as they hung up there in that dark place. Years went by.
Eventually, a rallying cry to family and old friends that unearthed a new found quest for calm running rivers and emerald green pools. It was just a few years ago. The company mattered and the fish did not. Finding my way.
The journey continues. Its purpose evolving. Its sadness and uncertainty lifted entirely and replenished with joy and laughter.
And the fish do not matter.
What begins in beauty must return to beauty.