Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, California

 

When I arrived at the pier, the sun was just about to break over the horizon. A golden glow filled the eastern sky. Within minutes, the sun crested the hill, casting the sailboats into silhouettes. Seagulls floated through the air without a twitch of their wings as if propelled by some magical force. Ravens sat on a pillar and looked at me with the presence of a human being.

Fishing boats were heading out to the bay, and I imagined what it must be like. I could smell diesel fumes mixing with the cold sea air and feel the bow cutting through the wakes, rising and falling with a slap. With a swirl of feelings, I sensed the essence of those fishermen, the excitement of the open sea, the thrill of skimming across the water, and the challenge and uncertainty of a catch.

Sport or vocation, fishing is wrapped in the knowledge of bait and tackle, the wait and wait, the sudden tug of the pole, and the exhilaration of landing a catch. It all comes full circle with the mouth and gills of the fish gasping for a breath of water, its struggle for escape, and its ultimate release of life. Of course, the fishermen know all this, the toss and rock of the boat and the sea legs it takes to find balance.