by TJ Ferreira
Having just recently turned the big Five O-no, I glanced in the mirror the other day and what I saw what was an aging, graying, balding shell of what I once was back in my 20s and even 30s. I wake every morning with a few more aches and pains, a few less hairs, but I have a purpose in this life so I get to my daily routine day after day.
Where have all the years gone? Time sure does fly! Both sayings you will hear older folks mention as we age. There are days I feel down. There are days I feel up. I am human after-all. But, I tell myself I have things pretty darn good so it keeps me going. And really, 50 is not that old, but sure, I am well past my ½ way point.
The way I look at things, I have another 20 to 25 in the business world working for a living. Another 30 to maybe 40 fishing tenkara, and if very lucky, another 50 on this earth. At least that is what I am praying for.
On Monday I awoke to another normal Monday, one that I happen to have off. Wife woke up around 5:45AM to get ready for work and I dragged myself out of bed around 7:30 to start my day. Now that may seem rather late for some, but I don’t sleep well. I am somewhat nocturnal, go to bead in the AM, toss and turn all night, with a brain that will not shut off I keep thinking of things all night that keep me awake. Needless to say I am not a morning person. I find that I finally doze off around 5AM and although I keep waking every 30 minutes, I feel snuggly in bed and get my best rest in these hours.
So no, I don’t like to wake at 5AM to go fishing. Therefore most my trips I am a solo fisherman, beating to my own time and my own drum. Not on a groups time schedule or have to be there at a certain time. Although, every now and then I enjoy fishing with my friends, and I rather look forward to the friendships I have made over the years getting to know them all. It is rewarding to fish with them, to watch, to learn, and to have fun.
On Monday I fished a High Sierra river in NorCal and it was a great day. Geared up wearing my favorite hat, when I walked up on the river I looked down and saw my reflection in the river. I saw a 25 year old, my legs stronger to take on the rivers current, my arms more precise in their movement back and forth, and my heart pitter patters with a youthful spirit again.
The Rivers Mirror does not lie, it holds many unknowns and rejuvenates an aging heart making it young again, and with every cast, and every trout, I am 25 again.
I caught many many trout on this fine Monday. Too many to count on my two hands. It was a great day and what has become the purpose of my tenkara, to enjoy life with a new spirit every day. Going after the unknown of what lurks under each riffle or behind each rock, makes me feel like a kid all over again, for every fishing trip I am learning something new, just like when I was a years ago.
A long drive home I am welcomed by the howling of my two dogs, happy to see their papa. I stroll in the house and pet each of my 4 cats, and as I walked by the mirror, I saw an aging man, gray hairs, balding, but with a smile on his face, and as happy as one man ought to be. The mirror does not lie. The mirror showed a boyish grin with a beating heart and desire for tenkara, and longing for his next adventure on the River’s Mirror.
9 Responses to The River’s Mirror by TJ Ferreira
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Great post TJ. I turn 50 next year. I still think of myself as 27. Yes. will tenkara for another 40-50 years. Maybe more.
Very cool TJ, and Daniel. Thank you for all that you guys do.
50, huh? Get your colonoscopy!
Tom, yes…. done. At 48 actually. 😉
Good job! We want you around for a long time!
Very nice. I escape to the woods to reclaim my soul. Fishing is just one of the many things I do there (as I’m a Naturalist).
I’m getting ready to turn 69 in a few months TJ. When you hit 60, let me know.
Will do Al. Will do. hehe
It is important to note that the hackle movement will only occur if a soft hackle feather is used. Rooster hackle will be too stiff to wave or beckon or “invite” the trout. As in typical American pocket water fishing, the angler often keys on current seams beside rocks and eddies, and the pockets of relatively slow water where fish hold either in front of or behind rocks.
Now all these years I thought I was the only night owl in the tenkara-verse who doesn’t fish early in the morning. Or at least not often. So I have found another white-fuzzy faced tenkara amigo. Why is it the mustache is the last part to go all white?
But I have one advantage, I no longer have to roll out at that ungodly early hour of 7:30. Unless I want too. ; -)
However, thanks for all you do after you do drag yourself out of the slid.