Alchemy by Jim Hoey

Alchemy: the ancient belief that gold can be transmuted from the baser elements.

Apparently it’s been done too, on a very small scale, but requiring unjustifiable amounts of money/energy, and that doesn’t even count the cost of the nuclear reactor.
By accident I found a much simpler way of observing the process, even though the whole thing is more metaphysical.

It rained the whole dark drive to Fishing Creek and, by the time we stopped in Du Bois for breakfast, we almost turned back but decided to check the creek out, since we were almost there.

Surprisingly, instead of the muddy washout we expected, the creek was a translucent green color…really promising. Up to that point my brook trout-catching experience had resulted in some pretty fish, most of them would have easy fit in my hand. I was hoping for something more than little guys from tiny runs.

After tying on a small “Silver Bullet,” a popular little silver streamer from those days, I actually sat on the bank to make my first cast, straighten my  line, and become relaxed. Something a bit cloudy seemed to be forming at the limit of my vision. Still not completely clear as to just what I was seeing in the strange-colored water, it took maybe six seconds to focus more, and finally focus into a larger brook trout that was leisurely pursuing my streamer.

I don’t understand much about optics, but this fine Brooke of a Trout seemed to be arranging himself as he was coming on.

As he got closer, and became more focused, he seemed to have achieved his best bearings and one that satisfied even himself… “yes, all the garnets and oranges down there, all the agates and chalcedony along there please.”

The fight was intense but brief, and I was amazed at how smooth he felt in my hand, smoother even than the smaller ones I had caught previously!

If I were still young enough to write resumes, I might try a different kind, one that lists the truly important things I feel  that I have done with my life.

I was blessed to have married the woman that I did. I was insightful enough to learn that self-education is the kind that really matters the most. But perhaps one of the very-most important things that happened to my life was on that rainy Pennsylvania morning that I learned that things can change as you watch them, how things can become something else before your very eyes.

~ Jim Hoey