Something I read the other day started me off on a chain of thought about our grandparents. If you're young it's probably about your great grandparents. The world they lived in is barely recognizable to us these days. The world we live in would be completely unbelievable to them.
I think back on my grandparents and I have a good idea of the arc of their lives. My family is big on family history so there's not much mystery there, plus I remember them. Compared to most people of their generation they moved around quite a bit, worked at various forms of employment more than most, ultimately settled down to be ranchers and farmers, and raised large herds of kids.
For a lot of you, maybe all of you, the following is true as well.
As mobile as they were, I travel more miles in one month than they did in their entire lives. I worked more jobs by the time I was twenty one than they did their entire lives combined.
I went to more formal schooling than they did combined.
I meet more new people each year than they met in their entire lives.
I pay more taxes in one year than they did in their entire lives.
I earn more money in one month than they did in ten to fifteen years.
I've seen more movies, more television shows, heard more music, read more books and magazines and newspapers in one year than they did in their entire lives combined.
I am assaulted by more loud noises in one year than they were in their entire lives.
I make more critical decisions regarding life's forward progress in one year than they did in their entire lives.
I am assaulted by more information coming in at me in one day than they had in their entire lives.
They never turned on a computer or cell phone.
They got 30 minutes of news each evening, first by radio and then by television. Their view of world affairs was limited primarily to WWII news broadcasts. There were very few competing "facts" that they were exposed to on the news, what you saw or heard was the same pretty much for every station.
I've owned more cars in ten years than they did in their lifetime.
And I've certainly spent more money than they ever did.
If this sounds like bragging, its not. This is a list of complaints, and it could go on and on.
Their lives were not without stress, infant mortality was far from uncommon. Diseases that we shrug off now killed back then, and how those diseases spread wasn't well understood. Suicides back then were about as common as they are now. They had stress, and it was heavy duty stress, but it tended to come slowly and not all that often.
Their pace of life was little changed from the dawn of time, this craziness we're living in - and with - is an entirely new thing for humans.
Their pace of life was so radically much different from ours. Slower, more peaceful. They had time to think, a lot of time to think, and from what I personally recall they did take their time to arrive at decisions. Rare was the need for snap judgement or action. They talked slow because they thought slow because they weren't in a hurry. I probably speak more words in one month than they did in ten years.
And here is where fishing comes in. Fishing has a pace of its own. That pace is much like the pace our grandparents lived their lives at. For us - for me anyway and I bet for you too - that pace is a luxury that doesn't occur anywhere else in our lives. Fishing returns us to life's normal pace, removes us from this harried all-too-fast-in-your-face pace that we as a culture have just recently created.
Fishing doesn't bombard us with a constant flow of crisis information competing to be heard. You see what you see and you hear what you hear, and it's all natural seeing and hearing. The information coming in while fishing isn't crisis information, doesn't compete with other information. It comes in at the natural pace our mind's were developed to receive at. Fishing takes us out of the crazily compressed present time and returns us to natural time letting life unfold at life's native pace.
There is one thing my grandparents did more of than me. Fishing. They went fishing a lot, and each time they went it was for all day. Now that's the way it should be, used to be, and only may be again after retirement. Maybe.