A few weeks ago, one of my husband’s little dreams came true.
Die Fische is an Austin-based blog devoted to all things fishing. And if you know Taylor at all, or even if you don’t know him but maybe just follow his Instagram, then you know my husband loves (loves, loves, loves) to fish. In fact, if you only follow his Instagram, then pretty much all he does is fish.
Over Taylor’s birthday this year, we took a trip to Denver to see some friends and so he could go on a trip to fish the Dream Stream, a special stretch of water outside Colorado Springs that (I’m told) is home to many large and beautiful trout. Thus, the brightly colored Cutthroat Trout in the picture above. A fisherman’s story can only be done justice if he’s telling it, so I won’t try to re-tell it here. Let’s just say it was a battle, and one of the most rewarding fish Taylor’s ever caught.
So naturally, when one of your favorite fishing blogs announces a Fish Of A Lifetime (FOAL) contest, you’re going to submit your photo in hopes of being voted the best and receiving some awesome fishing schwag.
And I wish you could’ve seen Taylor’s face when he found out his picture was front page on Die Fische’s blog. Think giddy. Think can’t stop smiling. Think bouncing up and down excited.
I looked at the picture, and after the “Heck ya, babe!” and high-fives, I read down a little further on the post. And what I read reminded me why, while I am by no means a skilled fisher, I love fishing.
Below Taylor’s entry, Die Fische had written this:
After some on the water discussions we’ve decided to get rid of the idea of #FOAL being some sort of monthly contest, it feels like it goes against the very nature of this blog. Instead, what we will do is send every published entry an envelope of random goodies from our schwag box.
The sport of fishing has one of the most inclusive, encouraging communities I’ve ever seen. If someone wants to learn how to fish, they just have to ask. When people ask Taylor if he can teach them how to fish, his immediate response is, “Come fishing with me.”
If you need tips on the best flies to use during a certain time of year, head to your local fly shop and they’ll talk your ear off. As much as Taylor likes fishing by himself, he loves having a friend to call who will drop everything to go fishing with him. It’s the attitude of “Come join this great thing we’re doing.” It’s the idea that there are plenty of fish in the sea, so let’s share our craft instead of hoarding and striving at someone else’s expense. It’s about community and enjoying nature, not about competition against one another.
In short, fishing is a sport that believes in abundance.
We live in a culture that’s driven by scarcity. We’re daily bombarded with the lie that we have to be more, do more, have more. There isn’t enough for everyone. If she has more, that means I have less. Our culture is largely driven by competition and capitalism – for us to succeed, others must fail. If others succeed, that means we fail.
And while that thought process is understandable given it’s what we’ve grown up hearing, can we just all agree that it’s exhausting?
What if we chose to do it differently? What if we operated more like fishermen and believed that just because someone else catches a fish, doesn’t mean there are less fish for me. What if instead of trying to leave people behind, we brought them along with us? What if we laid down our measuring sticks and stopped letting comparison rule our hearts? As Glennon Doyle Melton says – what if instead of fighting for a bigger piece of the pie, we fought for a bigger pie?
Abundance knows we can pour ourselves out every day, and wake up with renewed resources in the morning. Abundance knows that it doesn’t hurt us to cheer others on, and help them reach their dreams. Abundance is calling to everyone saying, “The river is incredible. The fish are biting. Cast your line in!”
Believing in Abundance is where the joy and freedom is.
So, let’s all go fishing.