A little story about Christmas Island, which doesn’t sound like too bad a place, really.
For many years, stalking bonefish over brilliant white sand flats and crystal clear shin deep water was something I’d daydreamed about, along with fishing for those bucket mouthed tarpon of the Bahamas and Florida Keys. Thankfully I can now say I’ve done the former, and it was worth the wait.
On a side note, this is September 11th… a day that has thrust itself from the calendar at us since that morning back in 2001. I was living in Redding, CA at the time, working at the Shasta Regional Community Foundation. I had just left my apartment and was on my way to work when I turned on my radio, NPR was on. I had the immediate sense that I was listening to something akin to War of the Worlds. I kept waiting for someone to say “And that is what could happen if we aren’t vigilant.” I got to the office and went straight to the conference room TV and turned on the news… every channel was the news that day. What a shock that was.
I was talking to someone years later who had been living abroad at the time and couldn’t understand what had really shifted in this country in the “post 9-11” world. It was hard to put into words. Something has changed, for sure.
It was no coincidence that soon after 9-11 I went fishing. When you are out fishing, be it on a flat, lake or river, you either give yourself over to the moment or your fishing suffers. You can’t contemplate life’s many injustices (large or small) while fishing. You have to push all of that out of your mind and focus totally on what you are doing, trying to get into the head of a fish. Fishing is solace.