Every time I am in Istanbul and cross the famous Galata bridge, I always think about my ex brother in law.
Many years ago my then future brother in law returned home from a terrible war. He had been right in the center of action so you can imagine what he witnessed, how many of his companions he lost and what he had to do to survive.
He came back a changed man and at that time there was no talk of PTSD and little help to overcome it. So he had to think of a way to find his inner peace. And that ended up being fishing, particularly at night and in the early hours of the morning.
It was never about the fish, although when there was fish, it was always an added bonus for the whole family.
Being alone in silence except for the sound of the waves against the shore, helped him to gradually come to terms with what he had been through. You never forget of course but you seek deep to find inner peace.
I don’t know the stories of those Turkish fishermen at the Galata bridge but when you stop and observe for a while you see their relaxed demeanour, the way they interact socially between themselves and you feel that more than fishing, they are doing something that makes them happy.
Some are even willing to take the extra time and talk to passersby about the catch of the day.
While others carefully prepare the lines, loosen the rods and once the lines fly into the Bosphorus all that is left is to wait patiently.
Will the fish bite? Will they have time for a cigarette, to prepare the next baits, talk to their neighbour or just admire the coming and going of the boats in the Bosphorus?
Suddenly, here they come! You can feel the excitement and hear the laughter all around.
The days of abundance are always a reason to celebrate and be grateful.
It is time to leave. I start walking away, thinking how the simplest things in life can sometimes bring you such joy. I take one last look at the fishing rods suspended in the air. Not far in the sky the seagulls fly in circles, hoping to spot fish too.
I too found my inner peace today and can only feel grateful to be able to witness such special moments…