When glory comes knocking, answer the door
Matt, wonderful article. I have had my own "spots of time" with God, on a river, with a fly rod in my hand. Your article touched home. Sacred stuff. Glad to see you writing again. Sort of lost track of you after the WS shut down.
Good stuff. We should go shad fishing in early spring.
And just when I needed a little clarity in my life you come thru with a great story. Thanks
"Rocks books" - heh. And ditto on that. Also, "Draft No. 4" holds the pole position on my to-be-read list. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my comments!
A(nother) wonderful, thought-provoking, life-affirming post. Thank you! I think you’re batting 1,000 (yeah – that one, too, was fantastic). So glad that I was introduced to your Substack by The Dispatch. Now, it’s time for me to become a paid subscriber… done.
I know nothing about fishing, but I have long enjoyed the essays of John McPhee. I’m sure you’ve heard of him – and specifically, of this book – but in case not, I’ll recommend it to you: https://www.amazon.com/Founding-Fish-John-McPhee/dp/0374528837
Went to a funeral this morning. No fish story to tell other than about someone who chose, in the name of God, to be a fisher of men (and women). Just about 2 years sober, while I was still full of shame, a lovely woman reached out to me after church one Sunday. She invited me to her home and then into her life; she trusted me with herself. She introduced me to a loving, merciful God. After a few years I moved away and hadn’t seen her for 30 years or so. This afternoon I have been sitting and remembering and missing the love and faith she offered me. I still have the faith but sometimes I feel like an alien in this world. I have experienced many “spots of time” over these past (almost) 40 years. Thank you for the community you have/are developing here. Not sure who to credit but you brought to mind: The glory of the Lord is a man fully alive. The key to life is showing up.
Delightful, touching, glorious!
I, too, teared up when I read this. An amazing story, wonderfully written. Thanks for sharing.
Beautiful. Made me tear up and reminded me not to despair about the horribleness of what we humans are doing to each other and to our world. God's creation is so wonderful, and he answers our prayers, even if not in the way we expect, and even if we have to pay really good attention in case we miss it.
Curious about shad fishing: are they edible? Did you clean 155 fish?
Camping along a lake in the middle of nowhere in Quebec Province, 3 a.m., and I can't sleep. I decide to take a dip. After floating around for ten minutes, a big splash nearly hits me in the head. Alarmed, I stare at the shore trying to see who threw that stone. But no. Within seconds the whole moonlit surface erupts with large, shining fish. All I could do was stand and stare at the beauty all around me.
Thank you for this beautiful memory, and for reminding all of us that it's these real life moments that truly matter. May we all spend more time looking for our own moments of grace.
Great story, those days, when they happen, you try to lock in every detail.
Here is short one of mine, somewhat related to yours.
My son and I were fishing for White Bass under lights in Nebraska. After complete darkness settled in, the Gizzard Shad swarmed around my boat. We clocked in over 100 White Bass that evening, but I'm not trying to compete with you there. When we finally decided to head for the boat ramp, I started seeing and hearing fish jumping all around us. At first, I thought we must be spooking the White Bass. After seeing so many millions of baby shad, it dawned on me, these were the adults. They were so numerous I felt like was in a nature film. For a nearly 5 miles boat ride, the Shad were jumping all around us, and at times, jumping right into the side of the boat a with loud bang. No words nor video could possibly capture the moment. It lives only in mine and my son's memories now. But if I could, I would take anyone and everyone I could find with me out in that boat to see that spectacle. It is glimpse of the magic you describe.
Then there are times the snakes crawl into the boat with you... but that is another kind of story.
Keep 'em coming.
There are days I doubt the existence of God. But when I finished your essay I was filled with a profound feeling of lightness and emotion. It was nice. Thanks for sharing.
Love this! Living with three (overly competitive) males, the last four sentences made me laugh out loud.