By Pat Kellner (A.K.A. River Kayak Pat)
I get emails from good friends from time to time. Usually these are personal emails that are often asking where we are fishing next, or when I am coming to visit. Once in a while these are emails that give me an update from a company that they have started. Recently I received an email from the small company of a friend that I have known since Pre-School. He is a founder of Fever Pursuit, a company that will set you up with the hunting or fishing trip of a lifetime. If you have time, you should check them out. Kasey is a great guy and will work hard to get you set up with what you need.
This particular email caught my eye for a couple reasons. One, because Kasey’s dad, one of the best saltwater anglers I know, has now decided to become a full-time guide. If you are wanting to hook into some reds along the Texas Coast, this is your guy. But the email really caught my attention when Kasey wrote about Thin Places.
Here is a snipit of what he wrote: thin places in life? A thin place can be defined as a place where you feel as if you are close to God…In the words of singer-songwriter Guy Clark, “The South Coast of Texas is a thin slice of life, It’s salty and hard, it is stern as a knife.” Although I am not convinced Clark was speaking of proximity to God, I would have to agree the South Coast of Texas is a thin slice of life!
I do love me some South Texas Coast, but my thin place is somewhere different. I think everyone’s is. In order to find your’s we need to figure out exactly what a thin place is.
As Kasey said, “A thin place can be defined as a place where you feel as if you are close to God.” I like to “define” (if you can) a thin place as a place where the boundary between Heaven and Earth is especially thin. Somewhere that blocks out all worldly problems you may have, actually clears your mind, and allows you to be in the presence of God. Those of you who follow Fish Tattoo probably know that I am a Christian, so that is how I define a thin place, but I am not forcing you to follow Jesus, nor will I say that only someone who is a Christian can experience this feeling. You will know the feeling of a thin place when you experience that rush of joyful, peaceful emotions.
My thin places tend to be solitary places along a remote stretch of River. Usually me alone, drifting with a fly rod, often forgetting to cast. I don’t care about catching fish at that moment. Maybe because those are the areas that I stop worrying about paying bills, work emails, or how I am ever going to have enough time to do what “has” to get done. My mind is finally free to focus on the thoughts of creation. There I find love. There I find peace. That is a thin place.
I think Norman Maclean often found similar waters as his thin place. I believe the waters washed his worldly worries away. I believe John the Baptist found rivers as his thin place. I know I find these places to be thin.
I paddle to fish. I fish for the challenge, the pleasure, the relaxation. I kayak fish for camaraderie, for fun, and sometimes for food. Sometimes. Sometimes these thin places are what I seek. Maybe these are times that my soul is being guided to a place without boundary, where Heaven and Earth touch, where I can clear my mind and talk to God. Maybe fishing is just the vessel that brings me to where I ultimately need to go.
I challenge you. Find your thin place. Define it, decide where it is, what it is and why you go there. Your thin place might not be around water, heck…it might not be in nature, but I bet it is.
What is your thin place?
-This article is part of a series of articles by Pat Kellner regarding the importance of fitness in kayak fishing which appears on his blog Fish Tattoo. To read the full series click here
About Pat Kellner (A.K.A. River Kayak Pat)
Pat Kellner is a professional kayak angler living in Rocksprings Texas. Pat is also a tournament angler, kayak fishing guide, kayak fishing instructor, and most importantly (when it comes to fishing) a recreational angler in his free time. If you are interested in a guided river trip or kayak fishing instruction, email Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org