It’s hard for everyone, adults and children alike to be patient. It’s one of the values that no one ever really learns because no one likes waiting. Especially in this time of, cell phones, computers, and television almost everything is fast paced, hi def, and efficient. That is why on the summer vacation of third grade it seemed like a nearly impossible thing to do when I had to be patient.
My grandparents own a cabin up in Oregon, and whenever we go up to visit we always go fishing. This fishing trip started like any other, we walked to our favorite fishing spot, set up our stuff, got our lines in the water and waited. A few minutes later, as always, grandpa catches the first fish, then my cousins, then my dad and brother then…..It was time to leave!
I probably take fishing more seriously than I ought to, so as I heard these words my body slumped in defeat and I tried not to cry. My mom, being the wonderful person she is, saw how hard I was taking it and offered to stay with me a few more minutes until I caught a fish.
So when the rest of the family packed up, my mom and I sat on a couple of rocks in a peaceful silence, waiting for a bite. We sat there even when it started to rain, big fat drops that you could feel soaking your clothing in a second and creating bug ripples on the once glassy water.
Then suddenly I felt a small tug on the line. My body went tense and I thought for a second that my cold hands and drifting mind had imagined the tug. Then there was another one, stronger this time. “Mom, mom” I whispered, scared that I would somehow alert the fish that it had been detected, “I think I have a fish!” my mom instructed me on what to do and on the next tug I jerked the rod and the tugging got more intense. I reeled it in and then there it was, I could see the small fish struggling in the shallow water
“Yes!” I screamed as I hauled the fish up onto dry land and my mom removed the flopping fish from the line. I turned around to pick up the bait, when I heard my mom scream. I turned back and to see MY fish on the ground flopping its way back to the waters edge. I dashed after it and just as I reached my had out to grab the slimy thing it took one more flop and before I could get to it, it launched itself back into the water.
I stood up, realizing that the bottoms of my new jeans were soaked. At that moment it really didn’t matter, I mean I had done it, caught the fish, and I knew that it had turned into a much more memorable experience because I hadn’t caught it right away. When we finally reached the car and my grandpa said in his gruff voice “Didya’ catch the fish?” I said with a smile “Nope….and it was great”
I know this story isn’t gut wrenching or totally hilarious but it is one of my most meaningful memories. It’s not like I decided to pour my heart and soul into this piece or write about something horrible that has happened to me (not that there have been very many moments like that). I decided to write about this moment because of the important lesson it taught me, good things take time. I do believe this, but if there’s anything I learned from this experience, it’s that good things take time, and great things take patience.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.