A River Runs Through It

My father was
a Presbyterian minister...

and a fly-fisherman.
Though it is true that one day a week
was given over wholly to religion...

even then he told us about
Christ's disciples being fishermen.

And we were left to assume,
as my younger brother Paul and I did...

that all first-class fishermen on the
Sea of Galilee were fly-fishermen...

and that John, the favorite,
was a dry fly-fisherman.

The poor without Christ
are of all men the most miserable.

But the poor with Christ...
are princes and kings
of the earth.

In the afternoon,
we would walk with him...

while he unwound
between services.

He almost always chose a path
along the Big Blackfoot...

which we considered our family river.
It was there he felt his soul restored
and his imagination stirred.

Long ago rain fell on mud
and became rock.

Halt a billion years ago.
But even before that,
beneath the rocks...

are the words of God.
And if Paul and I listened
very carefully all our lives...

we might hear those words.
Even so, Paul and I received as many
hours of instruction in fly-fishing...

as we did
in all other spiritual matters.

As a Presbyterian,
my father believed...