In Like a Lamb

If it continues to be as beautiful as today March may never see the lion.

DSC_0827Down time.

During which I have become an observer and celebrator, a learner and a soul at peace.

It’s taken a lifetime to get here. Maybe it just took me longer to understand some of the things you already know.

How very carefully  I take my line and run it through each guide knowing it will meet the acquaintance of water at some point.  Knots tie together a quiet confidence of bringing life to shore.  Running my fingers over each lure, metal and feathers  with hope of making the right choice. Each little thing we do and think of  to bring us to water so intentionally.  I walk, I walk so far and so long some days. In each step I walk towards a feeling so hard to capture in words. It’s freedom, happiness, love and hope all hanging on to each cast I let got of.  No one can touch me here with any negativity because it’s here where I heal and rejoice this life.

This life I am so grateful to still be here experiencing.

A brush with death is something you never forget no matter how many days ago it was. You wake up with a heart so thankful that the grains of sand in your shoes are proof you get to do it again.

It becomes almost difficult when interacting with people who take this all of granted. Try as you may you hope for some understanding of why you are overflowing with happiness each sunrise.

Forgiveness and retribution.

It is perfectly sensible to feel that several of the traditionally self-sufficient philosophical justifications of punishment may be necessary. ‘Retribution‘ implies that offences should be balanced out with equivalent penalties. 

2004 study published in Science by University of Zurich researcher Dominique de Quervain and his colleagues had people think about exacting revenge on an “enemy”. What they experienced was measurable pleasure: their dorsal striatum (the pleasure center of the brain) lit up in a PET scan while doing so. 

At some point in your life something is going to happen to change it. It happens to every single one of us. Something or someone is going to turn your life upside down good/bad. It could also be a parent, sibling, friend, BF/GF, or stranger. It’s going to bring you places unimaginable. Resist the urge to let it own you. Make your peace because what you do with such a major life event will determine the rest of your life and what you live for. 

Retribution can take many forms and I live mine everyday.

It’s sunrise and the light through the windows are these beautiful, bouncing beams. My first thought is panic. Seconds later,I remember where I am. A warmth fills my soul and immediately makes me grateful. At some point today I’ll touch water, a trail, or maybe you…but everyday I am going to get even by living… and doing so beautifully. xo

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I want to live in this place in my heart forever where fishing takes me.

Days.

Days of which start with a clear view into the night sky full of bursting diamonds and a moon so bright it forms light of almost mid day.  With my first foot placed upon the sand I know I am walking into my future. It’s there waiting, always waiting with so many possibilities.  As I begin my journey it is often quiet except for the sounds around me nature creates.  I can’t help but think the universe conspired to bring me there.

To deem me worthy to take all that in. And at the very end of most days put on a visual showcase of colors of sunset.

Everyone different, each beautiful.

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I have been blessed to encounter many a beautiful fish of all species in fresh and salt water. It’s never been quite as important as now to let go of what you do not need for future generations.

This calling  was placed in my heart long ago, before I could even figure out what was pulling me to the water. I don’t question it, just rejoice in finding it , my love of fishing. Something I hope anyone who loves it can get to.

We do get there when we become quiet and listen to ourselves and what makes us happiest.

Spring run is soon upon us and it is my sincere hope that you find your way to the water .

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It hard to believe a year has gone by since Tony left to fish the heavenly universe  – no greater a fishing friend to so many of us.

I miss his enthusiasm for this life, stories,  his kindness and his genuine extension of friendship.

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The Gift of Peace

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I meant to get this up earlier but have been holding back  and I apologize for it. So many of you have been asking about the progress.  For those who don’t know I have been working on a project with the wonder fly tying magician Ben @ 57 Flies. It’s going to be a non-profit project incorporated with my love of fishing (of course) and stripers. Writing this minor pre-launch has been hard, and the go ahead harder. It’s been baby steps. But I feel compelled to share just how much fishing keeps that hope alive and better days are here and now. I am grateful to be here to write this. So for all of you who have been listening to my excitement about this for the last year… here is a rough picture peak of just how beautiful they (deceiver and baby bunker) came out. The vision was the connection to fishing, how it gives you hope. Morone saxatilis are my fish, my passion, elusive on some levels. The “deceiver ” represents the veil of secrecy behind every domestic violence survivor and the “baby bunker” the child witness.

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Thank you Ben  – you have been very patient w/me and I sincerely admire that you took this project on.

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In the last 7 years I have met many people who have shared my sentiments -“fishing saved my life”.  There is never a time I doubt them for whatever their reason is. Through some of the darkest days it kept hope alive in me quietly.  I have faith in all things good but in particular this fish, the striped bass. Their journey has settled into me daily.  I don’t want to lose sight of what it all means and the people who were there for me, silently supporting me. They are truly the ones who showed me kindness, love, and compassion. The very best of family, friends, fishermen, bloggers, message boards members, advocacy and law enforcement are made of. They believed in me when I didn’t anymore. My cup of gratitude runneth over for them.

As I slowly move forward with the project a phrase often said was “no one will ever love you” and what I learned was someone always did – I did… and it took time for me to realize that I was worthy of that. Once I did my heart was overflowing with the realization of the love my family and friends had for me,  and the belief in this project. Teaching myself Fly fishing and Surf Fishing has taught me how important it is to believe in yourself. Try hard to never let someone take that from you or let someone use words or violence to make you submissive. YOU are a beautiful soul. Find your passion in life and embrace it, let it define you.There are going to be times we can’t sugar coat everything. I have done a damn good job of that in the past on this blog itself. I went so far recently to go back and edit/delete some of my entries because .. I was faking it. Put your best “smile forward” – not always a great idea when writing. Go back and look in the past but don’t stay long as we have today right now !Story

I will never be able to thank everyone enough, but I am going to try my hardest doing so. In the midst of all of it a loss was felt with the passing of a true hero.  She believed in this project and supported the vision of it. Her encouragement, guidance and capacity to give of herself to the community will always be with every life she touched. She was more than an advocate she was “an everyday saint” to many of us. It’s hard to believe she is not here any more because I can remember her smile, he laughter, the tears she shed with us and the belief she had for a life, violence free. In my heart I believe she is checking in on all of us and I hope she can see what a wonderful miracle she put into motion here.

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This past Thanksgiving and this coming Christmas are the most special in a very long time. I am truly grateful. Grateful for my everyday hero’s I admire the most in life K, M and S- beautiful  wonders of the world and a testament of unconditional love. My days of late still out fishing just about daily and will write about that more soon with winter knocking at the door. My education on the sand has been remarkable… and I remain a student with a new discovery always at my finger tips. It’s still what this blog is about, my fishing journey. But we all have a story and I hope that in some way by doing this it can help someone. That someone reads the words to not give up hope, to reach out to DV support and accept their help, those of your loved ones, friends, law enforcement.

Call : 1-800-799-7233

http://www.thehotline.org/resources/resources/

Be brave and know you are worthy of a beautiful life. ♥

If you’re interested in learning more about the project stay tuned and thank you – through fishing there is hope.

Spring, The Valhalla Project and FLYERS!!!

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In about 24 hours or so spring arrives. After this very long, cold, snowy winter I am going to embrace it like no other spring on record. Finding myself right there and ready. Not even looking at long-term projection on temperature .. blah blah blah this is it.. right where I want to be. All new and I am going to embrace every minute of it.

“But you’re wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from human relationships.

God’s placed it all around us.

It’s in every thing.

In anything we can experience. people just need to change the way they look at those things.”

— Into the Wild

These last couple years have given me the opportunity to find some peace and confidence in fishing, outdoors, life and most of all with people. Recently someone said to me .. “you remind me of the book Walden. You were in this place and had to be very quiet for so long and just trust yourself. And you made it and learned lessons, and you never let the light go out.” I thought about this for a while and reflected upon the inside. Started to think about how empowering it is for your heart and soul to be  with yourself for sometime. I took an extended amount of time… to find my way alone. On the water, in the woods, on a trail… just trusting myself. Eliminating much negativity and really being one on the water produced some of the best moments of the last few years of my life.  

You never need to apologize for how you chose to survive.- Clementine von Radics

There are days I wake up and  lay in bed a few extra minutes.  The sun is just peaking in and think to myself as always.. I am so grateful to be alive. I try and carry it with me and not let anyone take that thought away.  I walk around with a goofy smile the entire day. This is my story… and a thousand times over this fish has saved me…

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Ice has all melted…

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This spring starts a wonderful new chapter in my life and I will be sharing much of it right here and in the chapters of my book.

Reflecting on my world map of people who stop by to read this very simple blog – I am sincerely humbled by the number of countries filled in. My map is almost filled! Fishing is one of the most wonderful experiences in life. It continues to save, inspire and challenge me. It has also brought some of the very best people into my life the world has to offer.

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I thought I would share a very worth cause. Please take to the time to read more on the site and do what you can if possible.  Supporting our Veterans is something near to all of our hearts and this is a hands on  look and see where the support goes to place.

The Valhalla Project !

“This Valhalla Project has established a very special retreat and reintegration facility for post-911 combat Soldiers and war zone civilian workers transitioning back into the civilian world.”

You can check on the Critical List if you would like a direct connect.

The site:

http://www.valhalla-project.com/

Their Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ValhallaProject

PLEASE spread the word, follow them, etc..

I can’t even complete this without mentioning something I rarely talk about on here BUT the excitement level is over the top

 LETS GO FLYERS!!!! 

Next blog a rod builder that has the attention of many anglers!

“But man is not made for defeat,”

he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated. ” Ernest Hemingway

Lately Hemingway and I have been crossing paths… not him- his writings. I struggle with the fact that I understand it on a very deep level. Specifically TOMATS. It just pisses me off he turned to alcohol to treat the weight he carried mentally, which IMHO led to ultimate suicide. As he aged his writing became so comparative to what challenges we all face.  Setting all politics aside which is often difficult when reading a great piece of literature or listening to music can often be hard. But appreciating the beauty of the written word so passionate, I can only be appreciative.♥

“He remembered the time he had hooked one of a pair of marlin. The male fish always let the female fish feed first and the hooked fish, the female, made a wild, panic-stricken, despairing fight that soon exhausted her, and all the time the male had stayed with her, crossing the line and circling with her on the surface. He had stayed so close that the old man was afraid he would cut the line with his tail which was sharp as a scythe and almost of that size and shape. When the old man had gaffed her and clubbed her, holding the rapier bill with its sandpaper edge and clubbing her across the top of her head until her colour turned to a colour almost like the backing of mirrors, and then, with the boy’s aid, hoisted her aboard, the male fish had stayed by the side of the boat. Then, while the old man was clearing the lines and preparing the harpoon, the male fish jumped high into the air beside the boat to see where the female was and then went down deep, his lavender wings, that were his pectoral fins, spread wide and all his wide lavender stripes showing. He was beautiful, the old man remembered, and he had stayed.” The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway

If you’re into old gear Langs is having it’s auction this weekend…

http://www.langsauction.com/

orvis old flies

I am not sure who wrote this but it was sent to me via email and thought it worthy to share:

There once was a young boy with a very bad temper. The boy’s father wanted to teach him a lesson, so he gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into their wooden fence.

On the first day of this lesson, the little boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. He was really mad!

Over the course of the next few weeks, the little boy began to control his temper, so the number of nails that were hammered into the fence dramatically decreased.

It wasn’t long before the little boy discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Then, the day finally came when the little boy didn’t lose his temper even once, and he became so proud of himself, he couldn’t wait to tell his father.

Pleased, his father suggested that he now pull out one nail for each day that he could hold his temper.

Several weeks went by and the day finally came when the young boy was able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

Very gently, the father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

“You have done very well, my son,” he smiled, “but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same.”

The little boy listened carefully as his father continued to speak.

“When you say things in anger, they leave permanent scars just like these. And no matter how many times you say you’re sorry, the wounds will still be there.”

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The tiny, rock-hard fruits of Pollia condensata, a wild plant that grows in the forests of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and other African countries, can’t be eaten raw, cooked or turned into a beverage. In Western Uganda and elsewhere, though, the plant’s small metallic fruits have long been used for decorative purposes because of an unusual property: They stay a vibrant blue color for years or even decades after they’ve been picked. A specimen at the Kew Botanical Gardens in London that was gathered in Ghana in 1974 still retains its iridescent hue.

Intrigued, a team of researchers from Kew, the University of Cambridge and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum decided to look into how this plant produces such a dazzling and persistent color. When they attempted to extract a pigment to study, though, they were surprised to discover the fruit had none.

When they examined P. condensata on a cellular level, they realized that the fruit produces its characteristic color through structural coloration, a radically different phenomenon that is well-documented in the animal kingdom but virtually unknown in plants. They determined that the fruit’s tissue is more intensely colored than any previously studied biological tissue—reflecting 30 percent of light, as compared to a silver mirror, making it more intense than even the renowned color of a Morpho butterfly’s wings. Their findings were revealed in a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Pollia condensata, native to Africa, uses nanoscale-sized structures to produce the most intense color ever studied in biological tissue. Image via PNAS

Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2012/09/this-african-fruit-produces-the-worlds-most-intense-natural-color/#ixzz2TkAja0pq

Have a great week everyone! Hope opening day for flounder was a great success! I know a few people got real lucky 😉

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Funny when someone just gets it…  all the pain and hurt you have inside for so long. All at once it is accepted into the universe of mutual understanding. Without a shared word and only silence.

Life.

When it comes knocking, never refuse the sun to walk through your door.

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Fishing

  • Attended Fly-fishing U and learned a great deal. So many basic things I had no idea about. Better prepared now!
  • Somerset Salt Water Show was a fun day. Knowledgeable Vendors, great clinics, lots of purchasing going on. I still see room for  improvement in one area I’ll touch upon in  the next blog.
  • The water is still cold. I did  get out last weekend for some FW fishing. Big zero but beautiful day.
  • Something exciting in the works – I will write about once details are worked out!!

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#5 Where the Yellowstone Goes:

Presented by Trout Headwaters and from the producers of Ride the Divide – A feature film about a 30-day drift boat journey down the longest “undammed” river in the lower 48. Intimate portraits of locals in both booming cities and dusty, dwindling towns along the Yellowstone River, illustrate the history and controversies surrounding this enigmatic watershed leading to questions about its future. Connect with colorful characters, get lost in the hypnotic cast of a fly rod, and experience silhouetted moments of fireside stories on this heartfelt river adventure.

Life

2 quotes, one song, brief reflective thoughts

There are two types of waiting. There’s the waiting you do for something you know is coming, sooner or later like the 6:28 train, or a school bus, or a party were a certain handsome boy may be. And then there is waiting for something you don’t know that’s coming. You don’t even know what it exactly is but you’re waiting for it. You’re imagining it and living your life for it. That’s the kind of waiting that leaves a fist in your heart. ♥ Matine Murray

“There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand without you even speaking a word.” Yasmin Mogahed

A PSA

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How delicate is life? How many times do we say we will not take things for granted?

I have made it a habit lately to really take notice of happy people.  Everyone gets so weighed down by all of life’s challenges.   Wherever I go I  am an observer. At the gym I see the most beautiful displays of love between elderly couples beside each other on treadmills and working machines. So gentle and loving.

And how do we treat each other everyday?

I viewed this blog recently and it brought me to that place of wonder and tears. That admiration some couples live up to in relationships.

Love is such a beautiful part of life if we just let it in … and extended it out. And remember it.

http://mywifesfightwithbreastcancer.com/

As the water warms up and the sky stays blue I hope you all have someone by your side to share a great fishing story, a starry night,  the gift of life. If it means something to you to have that kind of deep friendship and respect for someone, cherish it. Alone or searching… holding the tight fist in your heart. Waiting.  Life happens.

Patience …. like fishing.

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I will not…

let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
Mahatma Gandhi

It is with some deep retrospect I find myself looking inside for understanding. Reflecting on what influence my life. Ever do it? It’s some hard work. It forces you to make decisions to change. The ultimate goal is to be at peace with my life and what and who I let in it. So perhaps the quote of conciseness can help with that. I will not let (that is taking the power into your own hands) anyone (stranger, friend, family, etc..) walk though my mind (give much thought to negativity of other people) with their dirty feet (their own negative burdens). Beautiful. My soul, mind, heart. My life. Ownership.

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A few things to sweeten your day:

Caño Cristales – the “river of five colors,” “the river that ran away from paradise,” and “the world’s most beautiful river.”

A brief description from wiki:

For most of the year, Caño Cristales is indistinguishable from any other river: a bed of rocks covered in dull green mosses are visible below a cool, clear current.

However, for a brief period of time every year, the river blossoms in a vibrant explosion of colors. During the short span between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, a unique species of plant that lines the river floor called Macarenia clavigera turns a brilliant red. It is offset by splotches of yellow and green sand, blue water, and a thousand shades in between.

This only happens for a brief period in between seasons. During Colombia’s wet season, the water flows too fast and deep, obscuring the bottom of the river and denying the Macarenia clavigera the sun that it needs to turn red. During the dry season there is not enough water to support the dazzling array of life in the river. But for a few weeks from September through November, the river transforms into a veritable living rainbow.

Caño Cristales is located in a remote, isolated area not easily accessible by road. Adventurous tourists can now fly into the nearby town of La Macarena. From there it is a short trip into “Serrania de la Macarena,” the national park in which Caño Cristales is located.

It is a succession of rapids, waterfalls, correones and pocetas whose waters flow from the plateau south of the Serranía de la Macarena, where this birth, behind the oldest tepuis of the Sierra in a rugged area in which numerous rock paintings are still unexplored.

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The beauty:

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Brown-striped brittle stars, Astroporpa annulata,- Sebastians Reef.

Image courtesy of Islands in the Stream 2001, NOAA/OER

The beast:

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Carukia barnesi. A tiny jellyfish found off the coast of Australia.

Their venom causes what is known as Irukandji syndrome.

“Irukandji syndrome includes an array of systemic symptoms, including severe headache, backache, muscle pains, chest and abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, sweating, anxiety, hypertension, tachycardia and pulmonary edema. Pain is often so severe that patients have been reported as begging their doctors to kill them to get it over with. One unusual symptom associated with the syndrome is a feeling of “impending doom”. Symptoms generally abate in four to 30 hours, but may take up to two weeks to resolve completely.”

*I am making this my life song*

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! May you have love in your heart for life – so big it overflows and touches everyone you meet!

 

The Lump of Coal

It is a miracle you can find true friends, and it is a miracle you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season – is a good time not only to tell those stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your life, and to be grateful for them, and that’s the end of this particular story. – Lemony Snicket “The Lump of Coal” (read the book!)

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Going to write about giving a little. Some talk of fishing maybe involved but mostly it will be about the thought process of giving personally.

So much of our time is spent running around looking for something perfect. This year while somewhat sticking to list’s and being (for the first time ever) organized – I did things a bit different.

All year-long I made notes and kept track of days and times that really meant something. I took it from there and incorporated it all into the gift giving. So my list this year involved a lot of research, tracking down items, and creating stories. I am going as far as making my own cards one by one based on the person I care so much about.

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I feel really different the last few months and maybe that has been obvious in my blogging. My apologies. The fishing is about to get better and hopefully the write ups too.  It’s been a great year on the water. Many  personal goals accomplished.  So many life events to look back on and reflect. It’s been some knock-downs, get up and brush yourself off things. But there have been so many magical moments to be grateful for. In this space alone my world has opened up to so many, real and good people.

So as an early gift to you I’d like to share some music and a short video I hope you take a minute to watch and share:

For you:

Until next week… I am working on my Dear Santa (a little late) letter… xoxoxo FWG

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