Outdoor Writers Association of America
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

January 10th, 1999

Soul Food

Have you ever noticed how much better things look on a full stomach? Or having 'real food' - as opposed to something out of a box from your freezer or a fast food place - seems to sooth the soul? Some foods will fill you up, but not satisfy. Something about the smells of a picnic ham baking in the oven with a little clove, scenting the whole house, and creeping into your frame of mind. Sort of a nice warm feeling. The catch phrase is soul food.

Maybe we all should have some of that before we tackle life's problems.

As a working woman I know I don't cook as I once did. I can't remember the last time I peeled potatoes, cooked and mashed them. The box stuff is faster, and almost as good. Gravy from scratch? Well if you count biscuits and gravy, last week. But other than that? Can't remember.

Seems we all make changes, adapt, and conform to the demands of job, family and time constraints. Some times with 'almost as good' results, and other times things suffer. The jobs get done, work has to get done, so what suffers?


In my personal experience I find less time for the non-essential things I like to do. That's opposed to the essential things which have to be done. I don't need to list them here, I think you know what yours are too.

But a little word of hope here. It's winter in North America. Our world can slow down a bit if we set some personal priorities. The one thing we can't buy is time. We have to make it! Or take it, or steal it. But we must do whatever it takes to get some.

If we get in the habit now, by the time Spring rolls around, maybe the personal time thing will be ingrained enough to be a permanent part of our lives!

Fly Fishing is about personal time. Time to go fishing, time to plan an outing, time to spend on ourselves! Fly tying is much the same. You don't have to go somewhere else to do it, a place where you can keep your tying stuff out 'tho really helps. But this is personal time. Sure both can be a challenge, or learning experience, busy work or whatever we choose. Whatever it is, it is ours, and our choice.

I've said before fly fishing is about hope. So is tying. It's more than that. It is a means of survival. Without the personal time, time to just be, time to just be us, the person we are, our own humanity ceases to exist.

I remember seeing a tee shirt with Rodin's 'Thinker' on the front with the text below it, "I Fish, Therefore I Am." And if we don't fish? ~ LadyFisher

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