Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Trout not cancer

There's this amazing organization called Reeling and Healing--dedicated to providing those battling cancer or surviving it, with an introduction to fly fishing. Actually you know how as a kid, you'd try to drink from the hose and the water was coming out so fast you got way too much in your mouth? That's what it's like for two nights and three days. I learned about insects, trout species, trout behavior, tying knots, liters (not
Diet coke) and how not to hang up your waders. It's a massive crash course on fly fishing but it's done SO WELL you don't realize all you're taking in! Get this: it's only $25!! The people are fun, compassionate, patient, servant hearted and not judgmental if you can't tell the difference between a brook trout and a brown trout. They could I'm their sleep, I'm sure.

I have been a participant and fell in love with the magic of casting a teensy weensy fly onto the golden waters of the Ausable River. I had a guide at my side the entire time. He helped me cast, encouraged me continually and got VERY excited when a trout hit the fly. I even got help getting in and out of the river, which is tricky with waders on. :)
Flies have weird names; "Patriot" "Renegade" and my favorite --"Wooly Bugger."

I forgot I had cancer. I forgot the stalking fear of recurrence. I soaked in the sounds of the river, felt my legs be all wobbly in the current and was surrounded by women just like me. I witnessed a "hatch" of insects one morning and millions of them buzzed around crazy like, highlighted by the sunrise.  Beautiful.
This was 5 years ago, when my hair had just grown back in tight and curly.  I still had my port.

This past weekend, I was blessed to be able to volunteer for the first time. I helped women get in and out of their waders, I handed out water, I dished out gobs of encouragement, and I watched
Them wade, fish, laugh and smile.. did they know how amazing they were?

Meeting these
Brave women was like looking in a time machine--back to my life 5 years ago.
I was anxious about casting, tying knots and actually landing a trout but I had let cancer killing chemicals
In my body? Could it be that I had forgotten in the mix of chemo/radiation/oncology appointments that I am
Fearfully and Wonderfully made?

I had an epiphany on the way home.
Reeling and Healing works because it's not about cancer.It's about living in it and through it. I always come back home excited and refreshed. My perspective shifts and I'm reminded that I am capable-I can learn new things
And have a great time
Doing it.

Their cry of "fish on" isn't so much about landing a brookie as it is about living and loving life--no matter what comes.

I am so grateful for these people and their hearts. They truly love fishing
but they also love people and it transfers to everything they do when you are there.
If you have a girlfriend in the storm of cancer, tell her about Reeling and Healing! -you will be
Blessed heaps and gobs!
If you are a girlfriend, in the eye of the storm, go. 

Fish on!!!'


The classroom by the river; isn't it gorgeous??

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