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It started with a visit to Haines City Health Care last week.  A resident, an older gentleman, and his son, were sitting outside near the front door.  As they were both sporting a beard, I asked if they had the same barber.  We laughed and I thought how special to be able to spend time with your Dad.  Yesterday marked the 26th anniversary of my Dad’s passing.  I miss him.

Our time together was limited unless I joined him at work, which I often did.  I don’t recall us ever throwing a baseball or football together but I knew that he supported me and loved me.  I came across a story recently that was shared by a minister who spoke of a fishing trip he and his father took one day.  He writes: “We left before daylight on our way to fish the Rio Grande River just north of Embudo, New Mexico.  My father has fished in that area for forty years.  This would be my first visit.  There is a stretch along the river where the water is almost inaccessible.  The river lies some seven hundred feet below the canyon rim.  The descent is steep and treacherous.  They call it, Box Canyon.  My father loves to fish there because few folks are willing to expend the effort to get to the fishing.  We did not see another soul all day.  During the drive I asked, ‘Is there a trail?’  My father replied, ‘It’s a semi-controlled fall going in and a bear of a climb coming out.  We will be fishing in about 20 minutes but it will take us an hour and a half to make it back to the vehicle.’  Rock slides and runoff washes point you to the river but there is no discernible trail.  The fishing made up for the treachery of our out of control fall into the canyon.  When the river is clear the rainbow and the brown trout will hit nearly anything that moves.  These are river bred and born fish.  They are not stocker fish.  My father has pestered several generations of these fish up and down this beautiful river.”

     “I stood there, surrounded by jagged, black basalt rock watching my father cast and reel in.  The rhythm of his motion was soothing and peaceful.  The smell of sage hung heavy in the air.  Pale driftwood was jammed into awkward positions, driven to them by the raging water during the Spring runoff.  Delicate wildflowers rocked in the breeze.  Tiny yellow butterflies danced in the air on the edge of the river.  The sky was a brilliant blue.  Wispy white clouds set sail across the sky’s blue canvas.  The water raged by.  Walled in by the canyon, the sound crescendos so that you cannot talk to someone without shouting.  What a paradox I thought.  The water rages by and yet the butterflies are unaffected.  God’s creative genius comforts us in the midst of a raging river.”

Indeed, life can be loud and chaotic.  The world around us can be turbulent.  But that is never the only storyline.  Memories can surface and remind us of the beauty once shared and I can add my voice to those who have sung, “It is Well with My Soul!”

See you Sunday!

Gary