Fish and Faith 

A Fishy Tale

Before we left Colorado to return to our winter quarters in Florida, Chris and I went to a lovely nearby lake to see if we could catch some trout for dinner.  It was a glorious if breezy day with clouds skittering across the sky, sun streaked ripples in the lake, and lemon gold aspens in the distance.

We had no nibbles from the wily trout, but decided to nibble at our lunch. Mine was a sandwich made with cheese and jalapeno bread. I remember thinking it had quite a bite to it.  When all at once, “ouch” – it bit me!!  Twice!!  An insect had taken a liking to my sandwich and disliking me, stung me once on the lip and once on the tongue.  I’m sure it died even though I spat it out before digesting it!

We were shocked and wondered whether to decamp in case my tongue began to swell and block my airway. However, we decided to wait awhile and see if anything happened.  After all we hadn’t caught dinner yet, we had our priorities!  A few minutes later it was clear there was some swelling but nothing too alarming yet.  Then a man approached us – we thought he wanted to inspect our fishing licenses – but no, he was a videographer for the Colorado Tourist Board and  wanted to film us for a presentation of outdoor pursuits.

Although he was very pleasant, I was glad when he left to take drone shots of the lake as, by now, I was beginning to slur my words on account of the swelling, and when my tongue tentatively explored my mouth it was so tender it felt as if it were brushing against sharks’ teeth!  My lower left jaw and upper right lip had swollen – just the look I had always wanted when starring in a promotional video!  A little alarmed, Chris made me recite tongue twisters when all of a sudden our lines jolted and we each reeled in a fish!

Not too long after we landed them, the pain in my mouth started to subside, so we decided to stay and see if we could catch a larger fish dinner. I was out of luck, merely feeding the fish their dinner as they took the bait but not the ok. Chris, a more experienced fisherman caught two more rainbow trout and placed them with the previous two in the creel that dangles in the water. The winds were really whipping up by now, so we decided to leave.  As we were packing up a couple of hikers asked to see our catch. With a little pride Chris explained we had four fish and opened the creel to discover there were only three – one had got away!  Obviously, it was the biggest!

That evening I had recovered enough to lick my lips after a wonderful dinner of smoked trout with rosemary and lemon, and reflect on a very unusual afternoon’s fishing.

Our new kitten likes fishing too!

Faith

On our return to Florida, Chris immediately pitched into  music rehearsals.  He has a rich tenor voice and great versatility and so is in high demand. He’s preparing for a concert in early December with a chamber music group,  he had some challenging solos at church, and was part of a group celebrating the Bahai faith.

Mistakenly, I thought Bahai’s worshipped gardens, having stumbled into the  Bahai Hanging Gardens in Haifa, Israel when I was an undergraduate too long ago to confess.  It turns out that the Bahai religion was established in the nineteenth century and promotes the unity of all religions and all peoples. I may be doing a disservice to its adherents but I believe this is not a simplistic approach, but one that acknowledges the rich diversity of others.

So, music brought us together wherever we hailed from, with songs of brightness and joy, accompanied by instruments from across the world.  Each new song was a little fountain of life bubbling up, exuberant, surprising, insuppressible, and the finale was like light filtering through the fountains and flaring out in a rainbow.  Thank you Bahai’s for embracing life and bringing us a musical  water garden.

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