Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Glimpse of Crabbing for Patience

I spent a large part of my childhood living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.   The Eastern Shore is a beautiful peninsula covered in marshland, on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Watermen fish the abundant waterways and farmers farm the fertile land.  Summer was a time to enjoy the sweet abundance of land and sea on the shore.  We enjoyed feasts of the sweetest sweet corn, the juiciest watermelons and the freshest blue crabs you can imagine.  In fact, some of my favorite memories are crabbing with my family off the bridge in a little town called French Towne.  My dad would check the tide schedule and the night before we would load up the old Town and Country station wagon with nets and long strings that my Dad had wrapped around X shaped lumber.  We would pack a picnic lunch and head out at dawn to catch the tide . There we would spend the day out in the sun, enjoying the salt water breeze and crabbing our hearts out.  I don't know if you have ever crabbed but it takes patience.  You tie bait (usually chicken necks ) to strings and then you tie the free end of the string to the bridge rails. You lower the bait into the water and then you wait and wait until you feel the slightest tug on the string.  Once you feel that tug, you slowly, smoothly pull the string up a mere fraction of an inch at time.  When you finally can see the crab just under the surface of the water you quickly swoop the net down and bring the crab up.  If you have a good day you come home with a bushel basket full of sweet crabs and have a crab feast that night.
Baby me with my mom enjoying the Chesapeake Bay
Today I brought the my boys to the park for a picnic and then swimming at our neighborhood pool.  As I watched them splashing about, playing their childhood water games, I was  reminded of the summers of my youth,  splashing in the ocean, picking strawberries in the field, and crabbing with my family.  Suddenly, I was thinking about the patience that was developed in me on those lazy summer days crabbing .  There were many times, in my impatience, that I would just jerk the string as soon as I felt a tug.  Invariably, the crab would be startled and let go of the bait.  I would then have to start the whole process all over again.  I learned the hard way that patience has its rewards.  Other times, I would be distracted and miss the tug.  I would rush over with the net but the moment had passed and the crab had moved on.
Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the number of things that my boys just don't seem to "get" no matter how many times we remind them.  I am impatient for them to mature in some basic areas.  It occurs to me that raising my boys is somewhat like those crabbing trips of my youth.  It takes great patience, attentiveness and  sometimes the lessons are lost all together and we have to start all over.  However if I'm patient and persistent, I will reap the sweet rewards of the work.  My best bet is to sit back, enjoy the breezes life sends my way and wait for those sweet tugs, those flighty teachable moments, that are so easily lost if I am inattentive or impatient.  
Friends, I hope you are enjoying the beginning blushes of summer as I am.  I pray that you are capturing your teachable moments and enjoying the refreshing breezes life is sending your way.  I know these are where I am going to focus myself this summer.  Thank you for taking time to read.  As always lots of love-Kristine

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