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Rest, Renewal, and Inspiration

A sabbatical is meant to provide rest, renewal, and inspiration, and I am happy to report that I experienced all three this past summer. The highlights of my sabbatical were a trip to a trophy fishing lake in Mexico with my father, refinishing a family heirloom dining room table, a silent retreat at a monastery, and a solo kayaking trek. This is the first of three articles about my sabbatical. There is just too much to share to fit in one article.

I will start with the trip to Lago Picachos in Mexico (in the mountains east of Mazatlán). This lake is famous for large bass (“lobina” in Spanish) and my father, an avid bass fisherman, has long wanted to go there. It was a pilgrimage, of sorts, and we had a great time. We both enjoyed speaking Spanish with our hosts and guide. I think my Spanish improved more in a week than the previous several months of daily study.

We stayed at Angler’s Inn, a fisherman’s resort with excellent food and service. Dad and I shared a small cabin with two beds and a bath (and air conditioning!) The fishing was excellent. My biggest catch was a 6-pound bass, which is the largest bass I have ever caught.

The lake itself is a fairly new reservoir and our guide pointed out the old schoolhouse and his home, expose by the low water, that had been flooded by the new lake almost a decade ago.

The government built a new town on higher ground. Felíx, our guide, was able to build a new, larger house for his family in the new town.

This trip with my Dad to a fantastic fishing resort was a great way to start the sabbatical. It was a powerful cultural experience to be in the Mexican countryside and small towns, and to spend four long days fishing with our guide, hearing his story, and learning from him about both fishing and life in Mexico. I was grateful for the time with my father. This was the adventure of a lifetime.
Next week I will share my experience of spending six days in silence with the monks of New Camaldoli Hermitage. In the third and final article, I will share pictures from the work I did on the dining room table and my solo kayaking trek.

Yours in Christ,