By Becky Holland
Fishing … In the parts where I grew up in Georgia – going fishing was almost like a rite of passage. It didn’t matter what kind of weather it was, if someone said the fish were biting – folks got the itch.
Cross a bridge and see cards parked along side it – $10 says folks would be standing around with their rods and reels and buckets.
The first time I ever went fishing in Georgia- that I remember – I was 11 or 12. My grandparents’ friends, Mr. Jack and Mrs. Irene, had a pond. It was fun to go and sit in chairs or stand with our lines dipped into the water. Poor Grandpa and Mr. Jack had to help me with worming the line and such.
I am a girl – though I may have tomboyish qualities – I didn’t want to touch a wiggly worm and watch its guts go out. The second time I went fishing though, I was told I needed to learn how to bait my hook.
Baiting a hook isn’t easy when you use live bait – especially is you are an advocate for animals and have an active imagination like I have always had. I took on the challenge though. I grabbed the fattest worm, and looked at it. One of my elders was standing nearby watching for safety and to teach me I am sure.
I winced a little as I poked the hook through the middle part of the worm. The worm still wiggled. “Now, pop it through a second time so it makes it harder for the fish to swim away with it.” (Mind you that was more than 20 years ago, and the words may not have been exactly that, but they were close.)
My butterflies in my tummy turned over, and my face must have been a frowny one. “The worm knows its purpose in life – it is OK.” When Mr. Jack said that, I looked at him. Those were his words. I did what he said, and after two tries had my worm double hooked. The little fella was still wiggling a little.
The worm knows its purpose in life. The worm was made to help us catch fish? To be stuck and stripped and gutted? And yet it still wiggled in the water. (That is until the final fish scarfed it down and we reeled it in. That fish was pretty delicious.)
Life lesson: What we might see as the ‘ugly’ in life has a purpose – and 99.999% of the time, the end result of its purpose is ‘delicious’ Keep wiggling forward.