Gratitude & Thanks
Reflecting on the Holidays and the Coming year, I would like to share some thoughts on the past and future. I have advocated for many years that fishing, hunting and other outdoor adventures are much more than a recreational activity. Consequently, outdoors people are the only ones that share this realization and most of them only at some deep intuitive level. Growing up most people referred to my fishing as playing hooky from school or work. Any of you that hunted and fished grew up knowing that being a fisherperson was not looked at with the same respect that playing baseball or football were. If you were a fisherperson or hunter you weren’t bonified!
I believe it is time for a paradigm shift in our thinking as outdoorsman. Most of us, when we think back in time and past Holidays, can not recall the material gifts that we received but can readily recall the great fishing and hunting and camping trips we spent with our father, family, and friends. Combine those lifelong memories with the fact that fishing and hunting are the last remaining vehicles that the masses have to access and stay connected to nature, then we slowly start to comprehend , that the importance of these connections to nature transcend the ideal of “recreational activities”. Most Outdoorsmen I have ever talked to do attempt to express a greater sense of clarity of thought and connection to some greater understanding when in the woods or on the water. I have always shared the ideal that, “If God is not everywhere he is not anywhere.” Call it my excuse for spending so many of my Sundays fishing. Yet, nothing rejuvenates my spirit more than watching an incredible sunrise or watching an Osprey smash into the water or watching the sacred water transforming itself from liquid, to vapor, to ice, to dancing fog, and to rain, in its continuous journey in the circle of life.
Thanks to Jerry Mckinnis and their genius for attempting to elevate through the Bass Master Television the sport of fishing to a higher level. Thanks to Johnny Morris for creating a store that every time I walk into it makes me proud to be an outdoorsman and justifies all those days I spent playing hooky. What they have done has elevated our understanding of nature and helps preserve the last remaining vehicles society has to keep it connected to the Outdoors. I believe as an individual or a Society, if we loose access to Nature we loose all the remaining wild things and wild places and our own sanity along with it.
My challenge to you or request is in the future, instead of some material gift, attempt to give your kids and family an incredible Outdoor adventure. Nature may be the greatest teacher of all.