I’ve filleted thousands of fish in my lifetime with little more than small nicks and cuts from the filet knife. Maybe I was overdue for a large gash and perhaps I’d become a bit cavalier. But as we slowly trolled back to the harbor, I pulled the beautiful 25 pound King Salomon from the fish box and slapped that bad boy on top of the cooler. My knife, long and sharp, went to work by first slicing around the gills. But the fish was too big for the cooler top, began sliding off, and instinctively I tried to catch the fish with my right hand—forgetting that I was holding a knife. Quicker than you can say “Oh fish!” the blade cut across the top of my left hand resulting in a deep four inch wound.
My partner came up with a first aid kit and with a tightly wrapped compress around my hand I was off to the hospital. 17 stitches later I was out of the ER knowing that one inch separated me from a slit wrist and reconstructive surgery. There is always something to be thankful for even while your hand is throbbing with pain—and something to be learned. As my dear mother said, “So next time you catch a big fish, revel in the experience and try to enjoy the boat ride back to shore.” Great advice. There was no reason to have that fished cleaned before hitting the dock. Living life to the full does not mean living life in haste. May we all learn to “revel” more, squeezing the most out of every cruise back to the harbor.