My precipitous descent into curmudgeonly behaviour has unwittingly introduced me to an unimagined discovery. It surrounds that iconic symbol of maturity, intellect and manhood generally; namely, fishing. In retrospect there isn’t one person whom I’ve known who was a fisherman who was not as well tolerably sociable and manifestly refined. The thought alone inspires sophistication! Indeed so pungent was this envious image that I categorically never once pictured myself doing likewise. Not that is until today. This unanticipated admission to the fold of propriety did not however transpire quite as might be expected. In one way I failed to follow in my late father’s footsteps as a fisherman; in another way I achieved a similar height of flawlessness by modifying the model to make it more digestible for me while maintaining the orthodoxy.
Today’s epiphany unfolded much as any other breakthrough. There was no focus upon the subject in particular. The evolution was as natural as the summer breeze. Suddenly as I drove my vehicle along the ribbon of highway from Stittsville to Renfrew County, as I settled into the patently tranquillized motives of Sunday drivers, as I revelled in the vast beauty of verdant corn fields and mounting white and charcoal clouds on the distant horizon, as I inwardly relished the hum of the engine and the alignment of the wheels, as all this was happening, I awoke to the view – what I characterized as a perfect bit of deductive reasoning – that driving is my fishing! In an instant all my embarrassment about not ever having been a fisherman was erased. More precisely, the fisherman motif was unabashedly replaced with the driving motif. I had as incisively satisfied myself that either fishing or driving is acceptable as a defining feature!
In line with the paternal/filial theme I am prompted to account that my late father was as well an avid golfer. I balance this thread by mentioning what I consider an eminently suitable avidity on my own part; that is, bicycling.
I recall my late father telling me that on one golfing adventure he and his buddy Al Draper golfed 36 holes at the course in Lake Louise, Alberta.
This enthusiastic bit of athleticism is positively nothing I am able to undertake. I hasten to add that my father and his pal walked the full 36 holes, they didn’t use carts! While I can’t walk (I have always hated it, even as a youngster), paradoxically I can bicycle. At seventy-two years of age I am now only comfortable cycling no more than 20 kms (and preferably no more than 10 kms) at a time. And the favoured pathway is a flat one – especially one at sea level. I take the liberty of equating this modest exercise with golfing.
The thrust of this trifling measurement is that I have succeeded to overcome a lifetime of feeling diminished for not enjoying fishing. Or golfing for that matter. Nor will I pretend to insulate this objection with the cover of modesty or shame.