Maybe I’m not old yet, but I feel myself getting older all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s rational to dwell on this, it’s troubling me all the same. One of the biggest things that makes me feel this way is coming back to my old hometown, after three years in a big city. It feels like while the light lingers, the town is still slowly dying, more and more. There are a few new places, attempts at growth, but there are still more businesses newly closed than I saw on my last visit here.
As these sad and nostalgic feelings start to overwhelm me, I do the only thing I can think to do. I head for a place that always felt safe, hoping to have some peace of mind. I drive up to the old campsite on the river, one I had been to several times as a child. It’s completely deserted now, but the spot is still there, almost creepily untouched. I take a seat on a large rock and get out my fishing gear. The last time I had come to town was for my father’s funeral, and it had been even longer since I had been to our old spot.
The river keeps flowing, just as it did before, just as I’m certain it will after I leave. After everything that’s changed for me since I was here, I can still appreciate the beauty of this wide, rapidly moving river and the imposing, snow-covered hills in the distance. I hope to come back with children of my own one day. Maybe this feeling will still be here, even if it sounds crazy, considering how few things last for long.
I take a deep breath, and cast my line into the water. Staring at my reflection on its surface, I watch the leaves fall until a sudden twitch startles me. It seems something may be on the other end. Hoping for better luck than previous fishing trips, I brace myself and say, “This one’s for you, Daddy.”