I spent the day paddling down the James River in a canoe as part of our "Elementary Adventure: Float Fishing" camp. We had a 1:1 camper-counselor ratio, so each kid was able to fish out of the front of the canoe while a counselor paddled in the back. Not exactly the most thrilling of all adventure trips, but I enjoy being on the river, so I was excited for our day.
An hour or so into the journey downstream, the boy in my canoe decided to take a break from fishing. Not a single camper had caught anything, and everyone was becoming a little disheartened.
I picked up the rod and asked if I could try, since he clearly wasn't interested in continuing. Thirty seconds later, I was reeling in the first fish of the day--a decent-sized redeye bass. No lie.
[All of a sudden, everybody was really excited about fishing again...]
Anyway, as I reeled in my fish, I was greeted with shouts of, "how did the ONLY GIRL here catch the first fish?!"
Um, excuse me? After making sure that every single boy was well-aware of the fact that girls can do anything just as good as boys can, I sat back and smiled.
I may have a little bit of experience when it comes to fishing...
Oh yes, Kacey & Amy---I just went there. How's that for a blast from the past?
You're my best friends, remember? You simply can't get mad at me for these horrendous photos :)
In high school, I spent a couple of summers at the beach with the loves of my life... and learned a few things: (1) my friends wake up earlier than any human being ever should [although I already knew that], and (2) my friends can fish. Who knew?
It didn't matter that I had zero fishing experience. Every day, Kacey & Amy would literally drag me out of bed before the sun rose and we'd go fishing on the dock for HOURS.
And every morning, Kacey and Amy would each catch multiple fish.
And every morning, I would catch absolutely nothing.
But it wasn't really about the fishing to begin with. It never was. It was simply being together, no matter how much I complained about them waking me up or my inability to catch a fish. It was about sunrises and dangling feet and watching dolphins and endless giggling and a time in our lives where we couldn't imagine not seeing each other every day.
And now? Well, now I'm spending my entire summer in little ol' Fincastle, Kacey has spent the past two months traveling all across Europe (her plane left the country the exact same day as Zach's!), and Amy is leaving in a couple of weeks for Kenya.
That doesn't leave much time for fishing these day
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
As I continued paddling down the river today, I thought about my best friends. I thought about caramel apple suckers and 99 Red Balloons and chiggers and bump ball and Pat and everything else that our summers at the beach encompassed.
I thought about how blessed I am to still be so close with these girls after all these years. I thought about all the times in my life that I couldn't imagine surviving without their support and encouragement. I thought about how I can't WAIT for all of us to finally be reunited in a month or so.
But mostly, I just thought about fishing :)