The first duck I killed solo on Phil Robertson’s (Duck Commander) farm in Louisiana. The first duck my wife, Heather Dortch, killed which was with the Final Flight Outfitters Inc hunt crew in one of the most special location’s throughout my waterfowling career. My dad’s, Lee Dortch, Johnny Marsh metal reed duck call. The first goose call Kelley Powers, now mentor, signed for me when I was a little kid. His mark isn’t just on this call, but on my life. My Great Uncle’s, Herman Dortch, P.S. Olt that he used as a guide at Davy Crockett Hunting Club. Three mallard curls that represent the father, the son, and the holy spirit. The first full page image I got in Ducks Unlimited Magazine which was of Heather with her first duck for the Empowering Women To Get Outdoors edition. The meaning behind these things of value is more important than the possession of them.
These are all physical things that represent stories and moments that have been incredibly significant in my journey as an outdoorsman, marketing & creative professional, and who I am as a man – who I am as Seth Dortch. I’m thankful to have these objects hanging on my office wall, but I am evermore thankful for the impact the meaning of these things have on my being and heart. I am learning that if we would deepen our understanding of what objects can mean to us in a healthy way, we will value their meaning more than valuing just the possession. There is a major difference in wanting to have things to be seen as somebody, rather than wanting to have things to remind us who we really are. After all, objects and materials don’t last forever, but the lessons they remind us of, and how they cultivate us, live on throughout our legacy in this life.
These all hold a rite of passage for me and my journey – signifying where I have been, who I have been, where I am headed, and who I am becoming. They represent the ones who have gone before me, the ones who invest in me, and the ones who are a primary reason for who I am and where I am at in life. They signify the importance of maximizing potential and capitalizing on opportunity even when the matters may seem small and insignificant. They signify all the moments of my life dreaming to be where I am at today, and understanding that where I am at today isn’t because of myself, but God’s faithfulness in my life. They stir my affections for God because I see him in all of it.
As I grow and mature, I place a lot higher value on things like this than I used to. Not because of the things themselves, but the reminders that they are to me. If you would have told me as a little kid I would have these experiences and physical reminders of the life I get to live, the work I get to do, and the people I get to be impacted by, I wouldn’t have believed it, or maybe I would have.
These things remind me what I’m made for, and I hope this encourages you to look around and examine the things you cherish, value, and place importance on and wonder what they mean about who you are, or who you are not.