Driving to work today, it happened again. Just like it has happened for the past, oh, I dont' know, 20-odd years. And it hit a little harder again this year, just like normal.
Every year, I get into an extremely pensive mood that overshadows everything. I cannot tell if I am happy or sad but it seems to happen, without fail, in the Spring. It usually happens before the end of April but maybe the cold, harsh winter has made the plants in my area bloom a little later than normal. I can say it hits right when the forsythias bllom and they are blooming in profusion right now.
This feeling is extremely powerful and emotional. I inevitably start thinking backwards and sort of relive my life. I think about all the things that have happened in the past year that have made an impression on me and those thoughts bring me backwards to, say, my kids and what they did and what they used to do. I go back to before kids and then before I was married--all the way back as far as I can remember. And this...this...feeling keeps nagging at me all day long with memories flowing into my head and I can't stop it. It will last for about a week or so then it slowly disappates.
It is sort of weird, I know, but I think once I hit 30, I understood that I was not going to live forever. If I am honest with myself, maybe these thoughts started in the months before my first child was born and it happened to be Spring as he was born in July. I do remember thinking that life will never be the same ever again once I become a father. And, suddenly, I had responsibility and had to grow up. It was scary and it sort of still is today! Before, I was able to just do what I wanted but not anymore. Oh, of course things changed when I got married but the few years before kids, it was a minor inconvience having to do some things my wife wanted me to do but not anymore. It had a profound effect on me that is now an annual event.
I get so happy when I see the flowers and trees start to bloom because I love Spring. And I get saddened because this is one more Spring that will soom be behind me. How many more will there be for me? Will this be my last one? Holy cow! If it is the last one, what do I want to do this year? How can I show my family that I love them? What do I want to make sure I find the time to do for myself this year? What have I done in my life? Was it worth it? Will my kids remember me? Then I start thnking about all the things I used to do as a kid. What made me happy. What made me sad. I start to rememeber all the things I did or that happened to me, both big and small. All sorts of quesitons!
This time, I can't seem to stop thinking about how my life is starting to look more and more like my childhood. When I was a kid, I spent as much time in the woods that I could. In the summer, I would be in the woods almost all day long. I would watch the animals and birds endlessly and be totally entranced by them and what they did. I remember finding this huge ant hill that was literally two-feet high and bigger around than a 55-gallon drum. I could become fasinated but the activity there for hours. I enojyed the peace and quiet and the chance to think and, perchance, dream. Whenever I was allowed to run my beagle, he would be with me the entire time. I found solace with him there and these were, honesstly, the happiest times in my life.
Fast-forward to today. I have found that I need to get away from all the noise that is 2014. In fishing, I have rediscovered the quietness I used to enjoy. And I also realized that there is even more quietness in fly fishing. It is absolutely silent and it adds to the experience. I finally figured out why I don't really care if I catch a fish or not whenever I go out. And I understand that, while it is fun to go with a friend, why fishing alone has become so very important to me. It brings me back to when I was a kid. Back to the times when life was simple and fun. It's funny that I find myself sitting and staring at what seems like nothing to others but I am really looking at the water, the birds, the trees, the animals, the sky. And it just makes me feel good. I also think that is why I have found that I like to use dry flies because they are there for the taking even if I am not paying attention. It is funny how many times I am zoned out and something hits my fly and it scares the bejabbers out of me!
Being alone, in the quietness of the outdoors, brings me in full circle. Dan Fogelberg made it very clear in his song "Full Circle":
Funny how the circle turns around
First you're lost and then you're found again
Though you always look for what you know
Each time around it makes it new again
Even though this feeling is going to keep up for at least the next few days, I am glad that I have rediscovered outside. I do not think I really knew how much I have missed it and what it meant to me. And, like the song says, even though it is old, it feels brand new again.
And I am glad I found this forum. It is chockful of great people who are extremely helpful and the cool thing is we can write about things that are not necessarily about fishing and not get rocked for it. Liek this post. I do not think I would have the guts to post it in any other forum I have been on as there were people who would just rip the post and me. But somehow, I think a lot of people in here understand this sort of stuff. And even if they don't, I am not assaulted because I happened to post it.
Thanks for letting me get this out of my system!