The Lure of the Island

From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – Where I grew up used to be called The Island, which is sort of bizarre, but it is a piece of land that has the Scugog river on one side and two different creeks that wrap around. The few hundred acres in the middle was called The Island and the local log church of the late 1800’s was … you guessed it, the Island Church. 

My parent’s farm is smack dab in the middle of the parcel, and it is called Island Green Farms.  Consequently, I grew up with ready access to water and fishing. The two bridges near my childhood home are famously popular fishing holes and each has a rather unique feature – hydro lines near the bridge that are littered with bobbers and lures of every description. 

Every now and then, workers from Hydro One come by and pull the bobbers and lures all down, but it only takes a few months for the festive garland of dashed casts to reassemble itself.  I have thought about these individual casts and the person flinging the line that gets tangled on the wire. There would be the inevitably a period during which they’d struggle to try from their position on the dock to pull or untangle the line; then, there must be a eventual decision to cut the line and leave the bobber, lure and/ or hook hanging amid the company of other abandoned tackle that is swinging in the breeze.

I guess that is the way life is sometimes – we want to fix, mend, untangle, make right, smooth over or ultimately control the mistake or mishap or broken relationship. And sometimes we can fix it; we can use our superpowers of empathy, communication, listening and problem-solving to untangle the mess. In those instances, we are stronger, the situation is usually clearer and we are ready for another cast that is a little better informed for having experienced the hazard.

However, and this is the hard part, sometimes there is just nothing that can be done, and we must cut ties. Oh, how icky that feels when we have invested time and energy, when we were really enjoying the friendship, when we thought the job or friend or marriage was forever.  

I guess each fisherperson must be clear when they have done all that they can, and in order to move on, they must cut that line. After all, in all my time living near these bridges I have not seen people camped out for days and days trying to get their favourite lure free; people eventually need to get home, eat, go to work and change out of their favourite fishing hat .   

All we can do is our best, make sure we have done the best with the tackle we have, done our best to understand what got us all tangled in the first place and then if nothing is changing, no amount of holding tight to the line is going to get us back to happily fishing with this particular bobber.

In all cases, there are good memories of the great fishing trips, there are lessons about fishing that were learned and there is always the knowledge that the karmic forces, much like Hydro One, will eventually cleanup the mess. This you learn when you grow up on an island.

Photo by Thirdman on

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