Grandfather

by | Jun 2, 2019 | 8 comments

He didn’t fish. He hunted. Wandering over wooded mountains, and whispering through the wheat fields, I followed my grandfather into a broken forest. We climbed over long oaks, and we scaled fallen hemlock trunks to reach the other side of a small stream. My footsteps fell into his. He walked slowly — much slower than a boy’s patience could match. And when my eagerness overtook me, Grandfather turned to force my pause. He leaned in and granted me this wisdom: “Slowly, child. Life’s secrets are in these trees.”

He was gone before my sons were born.

And now, when I enter these forests, these forgotten tramps, miles away from industry and deep inside shaded canyons, the wet moss absorbs my footfalls and silences the mental rush of an average life. These muted and hushed moments are given for remembering — for reaching into the past. And I do remember him. I feel what he felt. Because we share the same blood, the same passions, the same determinate thirst for answers about our craft.

Connected forever, I follow his footsteps.

 

 

 

Grandfather

Domenick Swentosky — from the album,  Afterlife (2008)

Grandfather as you move on through the clouds up to the sky
Won’t you draw a line connecting you to me
Through all that you have taught me and your blood flowing in me
You have left a trail of life I’ll try to follow for me

There was a permanent fall season to his presence
And he taught me to walk softly through the leaves
Saying, “Child if you will only take the time to look around
You will find life’s little secrets among the trees.”

Through the doorway to the forest he would enter
Close his eyes and feel the softness of the ground
With one motion, then another, with the patience of a hunter
He would walk across the mountains and back down

Grandfather as you move on through the clouds up to the sky
Won’t you draw a line connecting you to me
Through all that you have taught me and your blood flowing in me
You have left a trail of life I’ll try to follow for me

His soft voice made a friend of all who met him
And his stories could bring laughter to a crowd
Just the way he’d stop to think, hold a breath, and meet your stare
Made you feel like there was no one else around

Grandfather as you move on through the clouds up to the sky
Won’t you draw a line connecting you to me
Through all that you have taught me and your blood flowing in me
You have left a trail of life I’ll try to follow for me

Forever in motion, forever in motion
Forever in wonder, forever in wonder
Forever in motion, forever in motion
Forever in wonder, forever in wonder

With his bold hands he could build a man a kingdom
But never ask what might be in it for himself
Built a life by never stopping, always learning, always giving
He was a man of such great passion and great wealth

Grandfather as you move on through the clouds up to the sky
Won’t you draw a line connecting you to me
Through all that you have taught me and your blood flowing in me
You have left a trail of life I’ll try to follow for me

 

Photo by Josh Darling

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

 

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

VIDEO: The River Doesn’t Owe You Anything

VIDEO: The River Doesn’t Owe You Anything

Today, I’m proud to announce the launch of Troutbitten videos, in collaboration with Wilds Media. The journey begins with a video adaptation of, “The River Doesn’t Owe You Anything.” This story has been a Troutbitten favorite since it was published in the spring of 2019. . . . The river gives you what you need. The river gives you what you earn.

The Secret

The Secret

There are two kinds of secret places, I suppose: one’s that are truly tucked away somewhere unknown, and ones that lies right underneath a fisherman’s nose. This place harbors a little of both . . .

Riverside

Riverside

Smith and I hopped the guardrail as traffic whizzed by at sixty miles an hour. Smith went first, with his rod tip trailing behind, and he sliced through the brush like a hunter. I followed with probably too much gear for a three hour trip and a puppy in my arms. River is our family’s eleven week old Australian Shepherd, and with a name like that, he has no choice but to become a great fishing dog. Time on the water will do it . . .

Aiden’s First Brown Trout

Aiden’s First Brown Trout

Hundreds of times Aiden has snagged the bottom, pulled the rod back, and either asked me if that was a fish or has told me flatly, “I think that was a fish.”  This time, he finally experienced the certainty that a couple of good head shakes from a trout will give you . . .

Waves and Water

Waves and Water

. . . But when all of that dries up, when the travel seems too long, when dawn comes too early and when chasing a bunch of foot-long trout seems like something you’ve already done, then what’s left — always — is the river . . .

The Foundation

The Foundation

There is tranquility and stillness here — a place to do nothing but think. And that alone is valuable. Because there aren’t many places like this left in the world . . .

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.

8 Comments

  1. This reminds me of my grandfather, although his passion was crappie fishing.

    Thanks for bringing up those memories.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the song, Dom. It’s very moving.

    Reply
    • Or is it a poem? Very touching, hope my grandchildren feel as you did for him.
      And thanks for your blog, Dom. You take our fly fishing to a higher level, learning to slow down and appreciate more than getting the hook in the water.

      Reply
  3. Immense beauty in the story

    Reply
  4. My parents were state department wonks, never around much. My grandfather was my role model. He hunted and fished passionately and tried to teach his only grandson, who didn’t regret not paying attention as often as he should have until it was too late. Nicely said, Dom.

    Reply
  5. As a 73 year old grandfather, I know he’d be very proud of what he instilled in you, his grandson. Wonderful.

    Reply
  6. You are a poet. Thank you for the moment and the memories.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

Pin It on Pinterest