He is the center of our galaxy, I’ll admit that.

Brady had been asking for two days to go carp spearing again. The stars aligned one afternoon and all three of us were free at the same time. Joe and I and 12-year-old Brady loaded up the trusty old Ford pick-up truck. The three of us squished together in the cab ready to play for the afternoon.

Me? I was a spectator, armed with a digital camera for capturing the moment … not the fish.

Arriving at the culvert on this cool July afternoon, the smell of decaying fish was strong. Someone had been taking carp from the water and leaving them on the bank to rot. The odor did not deter a twelve-year-old. Joe made sure both he and Brady were armed with equipment as they made their way down the bank to the water.

In the sparkling cold stream stood a young boy, perhaps 8 years old, with a very sober expression on his face. I glanced at his socks and shoes neatly sitting on the shore. All alone he was using what used to be a spear … now it was just the tines from a spear…no handle at all … just a metal shaft in hand as he attempted to capture fish at very close range! I felt bad for this determined Huckleberry Finn chasing fish with no handle on his spear and I wished we had brought extra equipment.

Brady and Joe descended the hill into the water. Carp were darting between rocks, fighting to get upstream. In short order our five-gallon bucket was being filled.

Brady-&-Huck-FinnFrom the water Brady hollered “Come on in Grandma Cathy!” “You can do this Grandma Cathy!”

Camera in hand, I declined several times, but after the third invitation I agreed to enter the cold flow of water…refreshing?!? Joe handed me his spear and stepped back to watch grandma and grandson having a ball, while little Huck Finn kept trying to stab a fish.

Immediately the sound of the rushing water was lulling and I almost missed Brady’s softly spoken words, “Would you like to use mine?” Brady asked the boy.

Huck Finn said “Huh?”

“You wanna use mine?” Brady said again to the younger boy.

There was an emphatic vigorous nod of the head from Huck as Brady handed over his spear. The two of them swapped back and forth – one shagging the fish in the direction of the other – one with the spear and then vice versa … if Joe and I were not spearing then they both had a whole spear … all the while telling each other “There’s one behind you!” “There’s one in the rocks!” “There’s a BIG one over there!”

Returning to sit on the culvert, alone with the sound of rushing water, I put the camera away … it couldn’t capture what was being recorded on my heart. I saw something that afternoon about Brady’s soul, about his core, about his true self … and my heart wept …

Where does world peace begin? Right here … right now … in the moment of knowing that we are not separate in the stream.

From The Beach I Walk On by Cathy Weber- Zunker

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