No matter how old you get, when you go back to somewhere special, you get young again. We all have a built in time machine in us in that regard. Folks may not see it on the outside, but that’s just a big illusion. For inside, where it counts, you know it’s so.
You can understand why I was so enchanted and forever touched when I took a literary stroll with Izaak Walton in 1963, 300 years after The Compleat Angler was published and how I took another walk with him in 1993, thirty years later which ironically was 400 years after he was born. I love to do math in good round numbers, easier to do and easier to remember. Anyway it became clear to me that walking was instrumental in my spiritual catharsis. You find stuff lying on the ground when you walk.
I found the tattered book in an old box with other books in an alley behind Ford’s Furniture Store. There were several other boxes of discarded items in the alley and I frequently took that route home from the Norris Theatre. It was a shortcut and I found more than a few treasures in the trash. I had no idea who had owned it before me as there were no markings of any kind, but I took great pride in my newfound possession and during the course of several hot August days and nights, I read it off and on while participating in THE CONTEMPLATIVE MAN’S RECREATION, namely fishing in the little Creek across from my house.
As you know, I am a friend of St. Peter. We are on a first name basis and you may remember that he has appeared to me in this life and in the next as both a man and as an inspirational Trout. He has never understood being called a saint.
Mr. Walton, the book’s author said of him, Simon Peter said, I go fishing; and they said. We also will go with thee.
Jesus liked fishermen a lot. His best friends were anglers. So there you go. I learned a lot from that little book about fishing, of course but a lot more about life.