October Morning

Written By: Heidi Lelaidier

I awoke out of a sound sleep. Outside it was dark, the air was crisp, the stars were so clear and bright you could almost reach out and touch them. The beach was calling to me…

Quietly I crept into our son’s room. Since the day he made his appearance in our life we’ve been inseparable. The joy I get from watching him as he explores the world is indescribable. He had been a good baby. I smile as I remember the Pediatrician telling me not to tell my friends how good he was because they’d all hate me. There have been times he scared the life out of us with his fearless nature as a toddler and now he was my buddy. We did everything together! Seeing the world through his eyes was nothing short of miraculous. We want to cultivate in him a deep love of the outdoors and respect for all living creatures. Now as he peacefully slept I decide to get everything ready before waking him. I had that familiar feeling in my stomach that today was going to be a good day.

Silently I went down the stairs being careful to skip the old creaker.Our loveable mutt Cody raised his head and with a sleepy yawn and lazy stretch got out of his nest, as I affectionately call it, and followed me to the back door. As I opened the door and bent to pat his head I noticed the smell of the air and the excitement grew in me. As Cody took off on his morning patrol, I made my way to our workshop.

Pushing open the door to our sanctuary I felt for the switch. As the light came on I noticed the photograph on the work table. A moment caught in time when all was right in the world. I remembered the day as if it was yesterday and allowed myself for a fleeting moment to completely feel every emotion that came flooding back. All my senses jumped at the chance to help me remember….the smell of the beach and his cologne, the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, the gulls crying out as they dove in a frenzy into the white water…the feel of my hand in his, roughness born of many hours of fishing mixed with the warmth of human touch..the look on his face as he gazed down at me…the twinkle in his eye as he knew before I did what was to come and the love in his smile. That day at “The Point” was one I’d always remember…..

…..“Come on” he whispered in my ear as I slowly woke up from a deep sleep. The mere breath on my neck made me shiver. How could I be so lucky! The man of my dreams was now pulling the covers off impatiently. ”We’re going to miss the magic time if you don’t get a move on!” As I climb from the warmth of the bed I smiled at him as I got my leggings and sweatshirt on. ”Yes dear” I replied with a chuckle and out the door we went. It was dark but the stars were amazing and as I climbed into the truck I saw a shooting star…it was going to be a good day.

As we pulled out of the driveway and headed out he started to tell me about what we were going to be doing. As I listened to his voice I heard the excitement build as he explained the finer details of surf fishing to me. The more he spoke the more I couldn’t wait to get to “Mecca”. As we drove east on the Sunrise Hgwy and reached the “Stretch” I could smell the salt in the air. I took a deep breath and as a smile spread across my face the morning glow began to appear on the horizon. We had arrived at our destination. Quietly I slipped out of the truck and after a bit of a walk found a large driftwood tree that had washed up to sit on. With camera in hand I was ready to capture the essence of the day.

As my man waded out to his rocky perch, I noticed something on the top of the water….what was that I wondered. I raised the camera up and scanned the area and couldn’t believe what I saw! Fins and tails rolling in the surf! With that I looked up and watched as he sent a piece of wood with hooks sailing out. Immediately he began the retrieve slow and steady. Suddenly, out of nowhere came a huge splash that sent the plug flying several feet. Continuing the retrieve, he turned and smiled at me just as the explosion happened, this time he was hooked up, tip bending under the pressure of a fish that was obviously a little annoyed at being duped. As the fight continued I snapped away hoping that the camera was capturing everything I was witnessing. After what seemed like forever, the Bass was landed, unhooked and released. The next hour continued just like that, and as I sat and watched in awe the amazing migration that was happening before me, I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be there. Now it was my turn to experience the rush! I took the rod and listened as he told me what to do. As I prepared to cast he reminded me just to relax and follow through. Taking up the line on my finger and releasing the bail, I brought the rod back and swung it overhead, letting the line slip off my finger at 2 o’clock, following through. Perfect! Out sailed the plug into the churning water off False Point. Discouraged that it didn’t go as far as I wanted, he laughed and said just work it nice and easy and you’ll see. As the waves curled before me I saw fish swimming in them chasing the bait. Next I saw my plug. This is so cool I thought as I watched its rhythmic motion cutting through the water and at that moment, in what seemed like slow motion, I watched as a nice sized Bass inhaled the plug and headed away! The adrenalin ran as I struggled to fight the fish and maintain my footing. I couldn’t help but smile at the pure joy I felt. This was amazing and as I backed out of the water and he grabbed the fish I knew I was forever hooked……

Coming back from my memory to the task at hand, I start loading the Bronco. Plug bag…check. Rod…check, boots and sweatshirts…check. As I head back towards the house I hear my little man’s voice calling for me….
“Mama….mama? Where are you?”
“Right here buddy, are you ready?”
“Yes mama….are we going to our special spot?”
“Yes baby we are.”
“I’m wearing daddy’s lucky fishing hat! Do you think he’ll mind?”
Laughing I say, “No buddy, I don’t think he’ll mind and maybe it will bring you luck!”
As I watch our son run towards the truck, I get that familiar feeling in my stomach. “You’re going to miss the magic time if you don’t get a move on…” I tell myself. And as I look to the sky I see a shooting star and with a smile I know it’s going to be a good day…..