Where Your Heart Is: A Hopeful Heart
Glen Rainsley tells this beautiful story about Jeremy.[i]
At thirteen years old, Jeremy was already a skilled angler.
It was his favorite thing to do.
He would fish anywhere, but his favorite spot was Daisy Pond
where large bass cruised under the lily pads
and rolled in the shadows
where their light bellies flashed on the surface.
One of the best things about Daisy Pond was that
even when the fish weren’t biting, it was a good place to be.
Do you have those places in your life,
Where even if what you were doing wasn’t going so right
It was still a good place to be?
At any rate, at Daisy Pond
Not a building could be seen from anyplace.
The only signs of human life were a battered, rusty-green litter can
and old Mr. Hadbourne’s rowboat.
Jeremy had been in that boat quite a few times
and he always listened carefully to Mr. Hadbourne,
who had taught him how to tie strong knots on the line,
how to stalk fish and to tease them into striking.
Daisy Pond was always alive.
That is what Jeremy loved.
Muskrats churned through the waters,
porcupines wandered the nearby woods,
turtles sat on rocks doing nothing much at all.
The air sounded with insect humming and frogs making noise,
splashes of feeding fish
a chorus of bird songs.
One evening, at sunset, just as the water shimmied pink and violet,
Jeremy looked out over the pond. He was getting ready to go home.
High above, a lone hawk soared in wide circles.
And just above the water a whole flock of tree swallows darted about
snatching their insect-dinner from the air.
The birds swerved and swooped as they ate their fill.
Jeremy reeled in his line. He smiled at the bird’s acrobatics.
Suddenly, a most surprising thing happened.
One of the swallows misjudged its speed, or became more hungry than careful,
one or the other,
and it crashed – splat – right into the calm water of Daisy Pond.
Jeremy leaned his fishing pole against a tree and watched with a heavy feeling.
The little bird was a good, oh, forty feet from land.
It chirped in terror at first and spun in one spot.
Then it fell silent, and amazingly, using its wings as flippers,
It began ever-so-slowly moving to the nearest shore.
Jeremy couldn’t believe his eyes!
He silently started to root for the bird to make it.
Now, the rest of the flock had stopped its insect-catching
and now hovered around their companion.
They seemed to be chirping encouragement.
Jeremy tried to think of ways to help.
“If I throw a branch I might hit it.
The rowboat would scare it.
And I can’t swim out there.
All I can do is hope and pray.”
The little bird continued on.
It seemed to Jeremy that when it had gotten almost halfway to the shore
it slowed down.
“Worn out, I guess,” Jeremy thought to himself.
“Never going to make it. Some big bass will snatch it for dinner
or maybe that hawk will dive down.”
But the hawk was uninterested, no fish struck, and the little bird continued on.
The flock stayed just overhead.
“Come on, little guy!” Jeremy shouted.
He wished that he were God and could pluck the swallow to safety.
The flock stuck by.
Jeremy hoped and prayed.
The little bird continued on.
Finally, it reached a dry log and stood up on it, shaken, but triumphant!
The flock shot up and away after insects. It was done.
Jeremy put his fingers to his lips, and let out a loud whistle.
And the little swallow sat on the log, a small drenched triumph
of life over death.
What can we learn from stories such as these?
Sometimes, we just need to slow down,
And allow ourselves to see the GOOD going on in our world,
Particularly when the news and the times
Are all so stressful.
Fishing, they say, is good for that. It helps calm and relax the soul.
I don’t fish myself. I went a few times with grandparents when I was a kid,
and I’ve pulled out a pole at Deanna Rose with Nora and Tessa,
when they were younger
But I can’t say that I’ve seriously been fishing in 25 years. [Read more…]