Let them have Dominion

Norm Carlson fly fishing
Norman Carlson fly fishing

My father was a trout fisherman. An avid fly fisherman. A great fly fisherman. He fished with the same two flies every time: a Royal Coachman Bucktail as the leader fly, and a Gray Hackle as a dropper.  

He caught fish everywhere. We would be up in the mountains and we would come across someone who would have abandoned a fishing hole, stating: “There are no fish in there.” My dad would promptly catch several fish there, causing consternation when the fisherman walked back through the area. I once asked him how he caught so many fish. He told me that it was because we (humans) were given dominion over the earth. I didn’t understand. I still don’t.

On the other hand, I recently noticed that when I go sit on my patio, I don’t always hear a lot of birds. But after I begin listening for them, the birds start chirping. Loudly. So loudly they drowned out the city noise. Which is odd, because this happens both during the day and during the dusk. Even as the night descends, as long as I am focusing on the birds, they sing.

To be honest, I don’t know what this means. This didn’t happen for me before I became Orthodox. On the other hand, my father was a dyed-in-the-wool fundamentalist, yet he seemed to be able to affect the natural order in a way I could not.