|Missing the family and contemplating|
I also realize that I had almost completely disconnected--and not entirely by choice--from a life that's grown hectic and complicated over the last year or so during my fortnight of travel. When I could find an internet connection that didn't demand the blood of my first-born, I was able to leave a few cryptic messages for my wife and for my boss, but for the most part, I was off the grid and clear across the globe exploring a land that has captured a corner of my soul.
I have amends to make here at home--and likely hundreds of e-mails to answer. I have responsibilities again. Duty.
But, as they say, tomorrow's a brand new day. Today, I thought I'd share a tale or two... and a few thoughts about a place that I miss more than I should and can't wait to get back to. That's likely going to be interesting news to a few folks, but it's fuel that will eventually prove my theory that fly fishers are wanderers, not meant to spend too much time in one place chasing one fish.
Risk and reward. I wasn't built for Wall Street, but I'm warming to the idea that nothing ventured truly does mean nothing is gained. In this case, I was largely blessed with perspective. How so? Well... I guess you'll need some yourself if you're to understand this whole situation, huh?
I was, at the same time, envious and horrified--these kids are just a few years older than my own, and yet they've traveled the globe with no particular destination in mind (Where in the hell are their parents? And why didn't I venture abroad at that age?). Today, at 43, I can only acknowledge my regrets and bless a different fate on my own children, who I hope don't wait as long as I did to have strange stamps placed into their passports, as difficult as it might be to see them shoulder a backpack and board a jetliner without me.
Regrets? Sure ... anyone who doesn't have any is lying to themselves. Perhaps that comes with such a crisis of purpose at my age--lots of "what ifs." That said, as I got home and had my whole family at the airport to meet me, I was relieved, and I knew that, in time, my little self-inflicted situation would pass. And I believe it will... but I don't think my urge to see more of this world will. That, I'm afraid, is the product of this crisis--I have to know what I missed. Simple as that.
I hope, too, that my wife and my children will want to venture with me to far-away places, and then wander farther off the beaten path, away from the manicured resorts and into obscure destinations where signs warn you of crocodiles and box jellyfish. I hope they'll understand that my life won't be complete until I land a Murray cod on a fly, or be the among the first to cast flies to God-knows-what swims along the flats of the outer reef.
I've come to grips with my wandering soul ... albeit perhaps a bit late in life. I don't intend to be selfish about it, but I do intend to answer its call now and then.
While I'm still young enough to do something about it.