Wisdom of the Rock

Wisdom of the Rock

Frustrated to not be attracting any attention from the Trout Magi I decided to switch from nymphs to a dry fly. This is like going from playing with fingerpaints to using oil paints. In the narrow creeks where I wade and fish, there’s not a lot of room for casting and 90% of the time trout don’t go after dry flies but today I had room to cast and figured why not get some practice. 

The casting steadily improved and I was landing the fly right under an overhanging tree branch in the sweet spot. I congratulated myself and on the very next cast my fly caught the tip of the rod and did several backflips around it. I’m quickly learning that ego and fly fishing cannot co-exist. But that wasn’t the real lesson of today’s wading. The real lesson came from a rock in the middle of the creek where I sat and requested wisdom be shared. That’s the real story here.

Yesterday I wrote about fly fishing being the perfect mirror for my life. It dealt with the frustration I have about my life’s work finding traction in the world. This morning I awoke to an amazing dream.

Here’s the dream: I was completing a training curriculum and there was an exam that was a test of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength. In preparation for the exam, later that day, I decided to run through all the tests. One was climbing a high bridge that had very narrow ladder rungs. I could look through and see the water far below and had to stop a couple times to regroup because it was very scary; eventually, I was able to move forward and complete the climb. There was a new class coming into the school so our group was finishing and we were advising the new students.

I awoke feeling very moved by the dream and inspired to continue allowing fly fishing to teach me.

Once again I went to my favorite creek and enjoyed the mists hugging the water, the varied shades of summer green and the crystal-clear water rushing over beautiful rocks. I waded a couple of hours and cast using underwater flies but eventually felt a desire to just sit and listen. So much had been revealed yesterday, I wanted to be still and quiet and stop thinking.

I saw a big, moss-free rock in the center of the creek and waded to it. I gently sat down and said aloud, Please share your wisdom with me. I’m really wanting to learn about my life. And so I sat. My feet were on the pebbled bottom, I held my rod—hook stowed—and relaxed. The sound of rushing water was music as was bird song. It took a while but I finally got quiet inside my mind and heard, Stop looking for trout. Hmmm. I’m fishing. Isn’t that what one does when fishing for trout? Look for them?  So I asked for clarification. The reply was the same: Stop looking for trout.

I sat in stillness and allowed the mantra to work within me…Stop looking for trout. Stop looking for trout. Stop looking for trout.

A memory surfaced from fifteen years ago when I lived in Asheville and heard guidance to go into Nature every day when I repeatedly asked what I was to do with my life. I was like…What? I’m in Nature every day already. But that message repeated and has repeated often in the following years. Today, as I sat on the Wisdom Rock, I heard, When you come into Nature you always have an agenda…take photographs, fish, hike to a certain place. When I say Stop Looking for Trout I mean to stop coming into Our presence with your agenda. There are so many layers of wisdom awaiting discovery if humans would simply be still and be quiet and await the inspiration.

Of course that is true. I feel the need to do or produce to help others connect with the amazing beauty and Oneness. And that’s great but it leaves little room for deeper wisdom to be revealed if I would just be quiet. Take the camera but stop and sit a while and be quiet inside and listen to the music of the rocks and trees and water. Take the fly rod but take time to just stop and rest and let go of all agendas. Allow the real gifts to surface in that stillness.

As I contemplated this ‘exchange’ between the rock and me, it felt like a doorway opening into the bottom of the creek that would reveal many mysteries of Nature. And that’s when, after half an hour or so, I decided to finish the morning by switching to a dry fly and casting big. And it was going great until I congratulated myself on the almost amazing casts. But it didn’t matter. Two days in a row I found myself untangling a major mess after feeling like I was making major casting progress. Fly fishing is a sport that teaches humility.

Immediately after I climbed the bank to head down the trail, I heard loud rock music…not like the rock music I had been listening to…but like heavy metal…way up here on the trail. And then a young guy and his dog materialized and he turned the music off. As we passed he asked if I’d caught anything. I wanted to say how much I had learned from Wisdom Rock and that I received really solid guidance but instead I said, Nope…but it’s a glorious day.

Society expects us to catch a fish if we are fishing and if we don’t we are failures. That’s certainly the message I tell myself from old societal programming. But what if success wasn’t measured by how many fish we land, but how much wisdom we accumulated on the wade up the creek. Wouldn’t that be something.

As I walked down the trail, I came upon a dragonfly that appeared to be dancing on the surface of a small stream…dipping her tail over and over again in a bouncing dance. It was so amazing to observe her and see one of the mysteries of the creek revealed. Trout will feed on the larvae but many will survive to become dragonflies. How amazing is that?!?

The first cast this morning at the magic pool ended with me hooking myself in the upper arm in a location I couldn’t reach without taking off my vest and squirming a bit. I think it was a reminder that this journey is all about learning more about myself…each of us is on that journey in our own way. All the answers are already within us. We simply have to be still and listen or in my case, sit on a rock in the middle of a creek.

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And to add to the incredible teachings coming from Nature through fly fishing, I found another large, black feather. This black feather journey started when I began yoga teacher training and recently has amped up so much that I ask every black bird I see to share its teaching and of course thank it. I even had a recently-fledged juvenile crow hop in front of me a few weeks ago after I caught a big trout. That was the same day a white-tailed doe watched me land that trout. I have entered the realm of Nature Magic. And it’s a very special place in which to find myself.

NOTE: According to Ted Andrews, Nature Speak, crow symbolizes the secret magic of creation. Crow is the smartest of birds, has a complex language. Working with crows, according to Andrews, can help people see how the winds are going to blow in life and how to adjust our flights. His grandfather told him crows are symbolic of luck. Magic is the Medicine of crows. “They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength. They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life and they are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday and available to us.

And dragonflies….the eggs eventually develop into a nymph and remain in the nymph form for almost two years before transforming into an adult dragonfly. Andrews wrote that their realm is the realm of light…spending time outside near fresh water will be beneficial…(no kidding). The dragonfly reminds us that change is coming and that we are light and can reflect light in powerful ways. It helps us cut through illusions and allows our own light to shine brightly. “Dragonfly brings the brightness of transformation and the wonder of a colorful new vision.”

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