Years ago my mother suffered from depression. I was a sophomore in college at the time and living on campus in another State. I knew she was struggling and I would call home and worry about her from afar. I felt helpless to do much more, but we kept on as a family; living, loving, moving forward.
After a time my mother emerged from the grip of depression and she wrote a letter to her four children describing the ways each one of us helped her through her dark days. I’ve never forgotten what she wrote to me, in fact, I may still have the letter somewhere. But for some reason, I’ve also never forgotten what she wrote to my younger brother.
He was the youngest in our family and the only child still living at home during the days of mom’s depression. She wrote in the letter that my brother helped her by making her sit with him and watch episode after episode of fishing shows. In some strange way, Bassmaster with her son was instrumental in drawing her back to the land of the living.
It’s no wonder that I can still remember the contents of the letter after twenty years, who knew that reality fishing programming could help open a door to the world beyond depression?
Last night, while I was watching a favorite fishing show myself, the memory of that time and mom’s letter came to mind. I’m not suffering from depression, but it was 10PM and I still had much to do before bed. Yet there I was, utterly mesmerized as I watched a man describe which fishing line worked best in various conditions and what types of bait he found most useful to catch illusive kinds of fish. As he held up lure after lure, I was hooked.
Maybe there is something healing or magical in watching a man fish?
Maybe Animal Planet or the WFN hold some sort of key to the cure for all kinds of ailments?
Maybe I’m just a little bit in love with Jeremy Wade.