July 19, 2014

Lessons From a Stream

As I put pen to paper to draft this column, my inspiration stands (or more accurately, wades) not twenty
yards from where I’m perched on the rocky bank of a breathtaking Idaho trout stream. My inspiration is the man with whom I’ve been joyfully privileged to spend the past twenty-five years of my life.

He is in full fly fishing regalia. Tan colored felt-soled wading boots, beige long- sleeved shirt, forest green breathable buckled-over-the-shoulders waders, black and gray nylon multi-pocketed vest, polarized sunglasses, a camo baseball cap and a smile that lights the world. He is in his element and savoring every cast, every breath, every moment. He is in the now, following his bliss.

Watching him cast is beautiful, hypnotic, gentle, patient, purposeful. It is poetry in motion, and I am both mesmerized and inspired.

There are lessons here for me to learn. My tendency, more often than not, is to step off the path of “here and now,” only to find myself careening full throttle down that bumpy highway of “what if?” And we all know that highway travels in only two directions – to the past and to the future. We also know that moving along that bumpy highway never leads us to any present measure of peace, let alone bliss.

In addition to the sweet wader-clad man in front of me, two other inspiring men come to mind as I ponder this life I am privileged to have and how to best live it. Joseph Campbell and Ram Dass. Joseph Campbell said it eloquently, “If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.” Ram Dass said it succinctly, “Be Here Now.”

What brings you to the present moment? What is your bliss? Fly fishing?  Sketching? Running? Painting? Golfing? Writing? Knitting? Horseback riding? Yoga? Gardening? Skateboarding? Whatever it is, I know just the place to help inspire, nurture and support your blissful journey - the public library. From books, movies, music, magazines, documentaries, internet access to Microsoft’s IT (Information Technology) Academy. It’s all here for you at Neill Public Library. And an added bonus - it’s free for you and yours to access, use and enjoy. That’s a bit of bliss in and of itself, isn’t it?!

So, stop by, call or email us. Let us know what you need or want, and we’ll do all we can to help you get the resources to help you follow your dreams, live the life you want and follow your bliss.

As I close this column I give a tip of the camo hat to my elk hair caddis fly fishing man. Thank you for following your bliss and always inspiring and supporting me to do the same. Happy casting, my love!
Kathleen Ahern
Children's Librarian

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