So Fishermen Go Fishing

According to Genesis, sometime during the first week ever when God was making stuff this happened, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea…” According to Paul Harvey, God created the farmer on the 8th day. The First Agricultural Revolution actually took place between 10,000 BC and 2,000 BC. Before this time, man relied on hunting and gathering for food and this of course included fishing. Our ancestors were eating fish long before they were eating hamburgers, and many anthropologists and other smart people point to this first agriculture revolution as the beginning of the end for humans. Farming wheat and relying on specific crops for most of their nutrition led to disease and early death. But back to Paul Harvey. His poem about the American farmer is iconic, nostalgic, and though a bit outdated, (“Have to wait for lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies…”) it sparks recognition from somewhere deep in my soul and aptly describes the romanticized image of a farmer in my mind.

God created fishermen first and farmers second. Paul Harvey wrote God Made a Farmer in 1986 and now over-30 years later, it’s about time someone writes a modern rendition that pays homage to fishermen who dominate over the fish of the sea. (I did try to find something like this but didn’t have any luck. If you know of an ode to fishermen that exists, please let me know!)

So Fishermen Go Fishing

And since the beginning of time, humans have needed healthy, nutrient-rich, delicious food.

--- So fishermen go fishing.

Somebody needs to wake up early to make sure the sun rises and observe and capture the ocean’s beauty and abundance.

--- So fishermen go fishing.

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Somebody needs to be willing to head to the wharf before the day begins to shovel bait, fuel up the boat, mend nets, tend traps, and grind all day in good weather and bad weather, and sometimes miss their kid’s birthday party, or work till after dark so they can make their kid’s soccer game the next day, and often do all of this on only a few hours of sleep.

--- So fishermen go fishing.

Coastal communities need people who are able to sustain the local economy year-round, and spend their dollars at family-owned restaurants and general stores that have been open for decades, and populate coffee shops early in the morning and provide the soundtrack and landscape on the water that tourists expect to see in the summer, and stay up all night to make sure the roads are plowed in the winter.

--- So fishermen go fishing.

Somebody must be willing to invest their finances and give their soul to an iconic and traditional industry that feeds people, and read about how it is doomed and failing and accept undue blame for it all, but get up every day and go to work anyway, because it is a passion and way of life and necessary to put good food on people’s plates and on the tables in the seafood restaurants that help drive tourism, and provides good jobs for other people in the community.

--- So fishermen go fishing.

We need people who are willing to do back breaking work in an environment that is constantly shifting and in weather patterns that are quickly changing, through driving rain and cold snow, and to continue to get back out on the boat after someone they know is lost at sea or a boat they admire breaks off a mooring and crashes onto rocky shores.

--- So fishermen go fishing.

We need people who are willing to cope with undiagnosed depression and mood swings and uncertainty and fluctuating prices of fuel and bait prices that are rising and boat prices that are dropping, and we need them to do this without the benefit of mental health resources or relief programs that can help their cost of doing business. And while they grow old and we continue to demand local seafood we need young people to take their place without being provided low-interest loans or government programs to provide accessible opportunities.

--- So fishermen go fishing.

We need someone who is willing to work their ass off for their own business and help their friends and neighbors with their business and share their time and energy and money with neighbors in need and other harvesters. And we need them to accept rules and regulations that impact their business without taking into consideration their input and observations in a constructive way.

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--- So fishermen go fishing.

We need people who are strong enough to heave weighted traps over the rail of a boat yet gentle enough to coax a small bird out of the wheelhouse.

--- So fishermen go fishing.

It must be somebody who is willing to work hard and do the right thing without recognition or reward. Somebody who is willing to risk injury and pain and sacrifice family time and sleep to provide good food. Somebody who is willing to drop everything to save another person in need. Somebody who is salty and sunburned and curmudgeonly and patient and loyal and hardworking and kind. Somebody who smiles when they probably want to cry, who always has a story to share, and who loves just as hard as they work. And somebody who is willing to help their son or daughter to continue in their footsteps despite everything since it is a good job and honorable occupation, even if it is hard and thankless, because it is a passion more than it is a career and it is a way of life more than it is a duty.

--- So fishermen go fishing.