marck parra

Hooked On A Feeling

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The sun rose on a calm Saturday morning in Long Beach, CA, casting its omnipresent warmth across the horizon. The fish were biting, the coffee was strong, but most importantly, everything seemed right in the world.

With sunglasses in hand, I took to my seat on the rocks next to where my friends were preparing their fishing rods and began to unwind. Savoring the taste, I took a sip of my caffeinated nectar, slipped on my shades and fully immersed myself in the moment. What a beautiful morning, I thought. 

Indeed, what a beautiful morning it was.

My friends seemed to echo my sentiment as we were all in high spirits when my friend Alex made the first catch of the day. A mackerel it was, if memory serves me correctly. We all cheered enthusiastically as if we had collectively reeled in Alex’s catch. 

All was undoubtedly right in our world.

I didn’t fish on this particular day, but that didn’t stop it from being one of my favorite fishing trips I’ve been a part of. Admittedly, I’ve never been the biggest fan of fishing; the smells and the constant meddling with hooks and lines never really appealed to me. But spending valuable time with the boys and chatting it up? Yeah, sign me up for that. Even if it means waking up at the crack of dawn. 

The early bird catches the worm, as they say.

The vibes were immaculate as always with the boys, but for some reason, this morning would leave a lasting impression on me. Maybe it was the fact that it was early Saturday morning and we still had the entire weekend to look forward to. Or perhaps I was just in an overall good mood, reflecting on how far we’ve all come and grateful that these high school friends are still hanging out all these years later.

Looking back, it was all of the above and then some.

Next, my friend Diego made his first catch and right on cue, the cheers continued – organically. We were firing on all cylinders. 

Soon after, my friend Cesar added his name to the catch board with not one but two fishes at the same time. This morning was a gift that kept on giving.

Finally, my brother Erick made his catch, completing the sweep as all of us who participated in fishing had a successful catch. “Success,” I thought to myself, cheering from the front row. 

A perfect start to the day.

The morning was ours. 

We don’t go fishing every weekend – and that’s OK. We’re all busy with other things or just enjoy sleeping past 4 a.m. from time to time. Still, when we do get the chance to go fishing early, it’s always a great time and I look forward to it. Really, I look forward to anything with the homies.

Also, I know this doesn’t need to be said, but there is something so serene about waking up early and starting your day before everyone else. It feels like a different world and life moves more leisurely. Everything seems quieter and more stripped down and I’m absolutely here for it. 

The smell of coffee sure does make things better, too.

I need to make it a habit to start waking up early more often – fishing or otherwise. It’s one of my long-term goals. I realize I miss out on the beauty of mornings by sleeping in too often, but that will change in the future. I’m manifesting it now.

After fishing, my friends and I headed back into town to grab our first real meal of the day. On the menu: delicious, hearty ramen. Perfect for the occasion.

The restaurant wasn’t open yet, so we had time to sit beside a curb and crack jokes for a bit before eating. It felt like we had rewound the clock to when we were younger and had fewer worries.

Then, the ramen shop’s doors finally opened and I’d be lying if I said we weren’t eager to order. So, the friendly staff at the restaurant welcomed us in and asked us for our order.

“I’ll take the spiciest ramen you have, please,” I replied, excitedly. 

It was the best way to end an exceptional morning. I encourage everyone to go out and have a stripped-down morning/evening/night.

Because there’s beauty in enjoying the little things; there’s beauty in simplicity.

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