I don’t like to brag, but I went fishin’ with the boys last weekend—Superman, FJ, and two of FJ’s friends. We rented a cabin in Tow, Texas near Buchanan Dam, and we caught more fish than we could carry in our buckets. Those fish practically jumped onto the dock just to get hold of our bait. I can’t tell you how many we caught; I lost count somewhere in the hundreds. And the smallest fish weighed in at twelve pounds. We’ll be eatin’ high on the halibut for a long time to come.
Then I woke up.
We did go fishing in Tow. But between the five of us, we only caught one fish. And by we I mean Joseph, FJ’s friend. Good thing we brought plenty of Sunny-D and sandwich meat.
But all wasn’t lost. FJ and his other friend, Morgan, went for an accidental swim when they tipped the canoe. They were several hundred yards from shore, but when a fellow fisherman offered to haul them back, they said no. They were having fun, treading water in their orange life vests in the 63-degree liquid, pulling the canoe behind them. I will never understand the effects of testosterone on the male brain. Or the teenage-boy definition of “fun.” At least it gave us all some free entertainment as we stood on the bank with our forsaken night crawlers and empty trotlines.
We weren’t the only frustrated fishermen there. Everywhere we looked, we saw old geezers and young ones, shaking their heads, reeling in empty hooks and mumbling about barometric pressure. I personally think that particular lake needs to be shut down for a while.
Lake Buchanan has been a tourist hotspot for decades. Next to our cabin, a fishing guide had several guys waiting on the dock while he trolled around, trying to harvest enough bait for his customers. I’m not saying that area is fished out; I’m sure it has plenty of life in it. But maybe fishermen should take a lesson from farmers and let the lake lie fallow for a season or two. Sometimes, whether land or lagoon, you just need a rest.
We humans need to take breaks, too. I do, anyway. Right now, I’m in a fallow season of my life, and I find I rather enjoy it. I’m working hard—perhaps harder than ever. But I’m also relaxed; I’m settled in. Rather than obsessing over productivity, trying in vain to create new things, I’m replenishing those areas of my life that have become depleted. I’m gathering nourishment of faith, family and friends; resting and rebuilding, so that at some point in the future, I’ll yield a bumper crop.
In the meantime, I’m satisfied with my low yield. I’m fine with that single bass, caught by someone else. After all, I know a guy—and He has a way of taking a little fish and bread and turning it into a feast.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.