Sunday, September 18, 2011

Love Observed.

Jay’s parents have a tradition -- the kind that has no real start, it just evolves into being over time, the kind of time that can't be measured. He told me about it long before I met them and even then, I knew that John and Kendall Zimmerman have something very beautiful. This too having evolved over time, and like anything good and lasting, it wasn't sought, nor given. But yes, it was worked for. Jay likes to say that if you go panning for gold, you'll find yourself fools; but a farmer digging rocks out of an irrigation ditch will find himself gold. So it goes. And John and Kendall found the latter. 

Now the tradition is, that when they eat fish, John always de-bones some fillets for Kendall. She argues back that she is perfectly capable of de-boning her own fish, thank you. Which she very much is. But John looks at her, Eat them, Love. And so she does, saying I love you back.

They’ve always done this, and Jay says he has always known they loved each other because of it. It's predictable and assuring -- like bedtimes stories, and grandmothers baking pies and fathers who leave love-notes around the house for mothers. These little things that children pick up on, and that get incorporated into ideals – often, subconsciously. But still, you come to expect that books will be read, pie will be eaten, and someone will love you. And these things often end up being not so predictable (nor reassuring) in the end.

When finally I did meet Jay’s family earlier this summer, one evening we all sat around my cabin’s old wooden table eating a trout fry of stocker rainbows from the state park up the road. And sure enough, John began to de-bone some extra fillets on his plate, and fork them towards Kendall’s.

“You were right,” I whispered across the table to Jay and squeezed his hand underneath. It was predictable, in the best of ways. And it assured me too -- someone will love me...

Recently I thought about that dinner of trout again, as I was fishing for others; these were browns, to catch and release. And I thought about love – the kind that makes a hunter feed his partner first, and the kind that makes a fisherman save the best run in the river for his.



That afternoon, as I waded on the south side of a fork of the Saint Vrain, and Jay waded on the north, we moved upstream together hitting whatever pockets were in our range. The ones in the middle, we leapfrogged. I became a bit too preoccupied with getting one perfect cast under some hanging tree limbs -- frustratingly imperfect, that -- and Jay got to be a bit ahead of me as a result. When I finally I looked up-river, Jay was motioning back towards a thick middle run...I saved that one for you.

But it's your turn.

It's a good one though…the best…and I saved it for you…fish it! 

And so I did.....


31 comments:

  1. They are indeed lucky to be "old friends" and they found the true gold that lies beneath the road of life's...hills, dales, gullies, peaks, and bogs.

    sgb

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  2. Again, smooth and elegant Erin.

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  3. Makes me wanna go kiss my wife! Great stuff there, EB...well done.

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  4. The St. Vrain, that is Gierach country!

    My long suffering wife is my best friend as well............. she is a lucky woman :):):)

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  5. Got yourself quite a catch there Erin, definitely a keeper.

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  6. Now that's the kind of familiar pattern you want in a relationship. Keep your deboned fish, save the best run for me. Wonderful writing, Erin.

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  7. Very nice post. I really enjoyed that one.

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  8. This one brought a big smile to my face.Thanks, great way to start the day.

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  9. real true love would have included the last square of chocolate... ;D

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  10. AW! That is about all I can say :)

    -stephanie

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  11. sgb - They remind me of you and your old friend, very much.

    Cofisher - thanks, as always!

    Many thanks, Mr. P.!

    Will K. - I really hope you did.... ;)

    Tom - Gierach country indeed! And we actually ran into AK Best there on another trip. Jay wrote a post about that trip...a good story: http://coloradoflyfishingreports.blogspot.com/2011/09/fishing-anyones-st-vrain.html And it is such a lovely thing to have ones best friend also as ones partner in life, eh? I'm glad you've found this too. :)

    Dave - Indeed he is!

    Brk Trt - Thank you much, and he is!

    Steve - Thank you...and yep, my preference is also the good run over fillet...

    George - Thanks, and I'm very glad you did! Thanks for letting me know...means a lot!

    Bob - A smile in the morning is oft times a hard thing to get...I'm honored. :)

    thelimpcobra - ah Marc....he does share his cheese though!

    Stephanie - Thanks for saying it. :)

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  12. "You were right...."...Amazing little paragraph. Just kinda tucked in there. Nice one.

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  13. Thanks, Herringbone...you always notice the little things...thanks for that.

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  14. Having the love of your life with you... priceless!... I know I'm a lucky guy for my wife Michelle..... thanks Erin.

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  15. Doug - That it is, and I'm lucky indeed.

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  16. This one made me a little sad. Hopeful for the future, but choked up a bit in my present.

    Well done! Great writing should produce a true emotional response, and this one did.

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  17. Anonymous - It's been a long road to get here...to hope for the future and to try this thing Love again. My early marriage...and divorce...had me well-jaded. I teared up in writing this one. Thanks for the kind words...and don't lose hope for the future...

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  18. Thanks, JGR...it's something I never thought I'd have. And thanks for stopping by, by the way!

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  19. It's a good and satisfying thing to love someone and be comfortable with that love and person. It's how I feel about my wife, and even though her death has come between us, the comfort and love remain. Enjoy it, it's a blessing.

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  20. Should Fish More, I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's death...but in that you still have and feel her love, I find much joy. Your words here are a blessing to me...thank you.

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  21. Hello Erin! After a summer without a computer, I was really convinced that I didn’t miss a thing. But after reading your last post (and I still got to read the rest of this summer’s posts), I know I missed your writing. Great post! I can’t wait to read the rest.

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  22. Welcome back, lonesome piker...you've been missed! Although, it looks like your summer was most delightful in every way! You return post has left me smiling all day. Thanks as always for your kind words.

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  23. What a sweet fishing partner. I enjoyed your post. :)

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  24. Thanks, Jen...glad you did, and thanks for stopping by!

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  25. Wow Erin, this was a great one. It kind of had it all. Deep thoughts, love, food and fishing. What more is there too life? =)

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  26. Not much more, Kev2380...and anyhow, those things are all that matters. ;) Thanks!

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  27. A little late on the read...but, I am glad that I found it tonight! A great story, Erin...

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  28. Ah thanks, River Damsel....I'm glad you enjoyed the read!

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