The Salmon River
It had been raining heavily all night. The river is high, its usually crystal clear waters now brown and muggy. The forest of alder trees that holds the shores on both sides is flooded. The water masses are shooting downstream, eager to reach the ocean and come to rest there. I pondered the cycle of the water evaporating from the ocean, forming clouds, coming down as rain, flowing down creeks and rivers in order to find completion of the cycle in the sea. I woke up from my musings as right in front of me a big chum salmon emerged out of the river, its dark back arching out and back in the water again. Here in a back eddy they were standing, the salmon who came also to complete a cycle. They start upstream where they hatch from the eggs, as salmon fries they make their way downstream to the ocean, go on their mysterious migration through the North Pacific in order to return as mature fish to their origin. Now they are here again, their cycle just going in the opposite direction to the cycle of the water. Both are coming home, the salmon to the river, the river to the ocean. The salmon’s life culminates in the spawning, an orgy of color, of sex, of aggression – and then it is done. They die, their bodies feeding the aquatic life of the river that will feed their offspring who then continue the cycle.
My 97 year old aunty completed her circle yesterday. She had been a rock in all the turbulences of life. Whatever happened in my life, she had been there. She even had visited me in the years I was living on the Blood Reserve in Alberta. She had been to sweat lodges with me. She had seen my life. Gratitude filled my heart, sadness overflowed my eyes. The day before a friend of my cowboy times in Alberta had phoned: “My dad rode his last circle the other day.” We were quiet for a while thinking of the joy and the hardship of the old rancher’s life on the prairies. Our old people, like the salmon they gave everything for us. In the end they died and left the torch of life for us to carry on, to take good care that the flame will burn bright and clear until we will pass it on. Is it death, or is it simply a rejuvenation of life? I remembered Goethe who once said: Death is the trick of nature to sustain life.
So I watched the salmon fighting their way upstream ready to die and I saw the river rushing downstream ready to die into the ocean. I took a deep breath and I felt that all there is, is the cycles, the movement, the everlasting change in life. I smiled; with tears in my eyes.
Do you have areas in your life in which the free flow of energies is stuck in small repetitive circles, in pattern of the past? Send me an email. The salmon and the river and thousands of remedies from nature are waiting to help you.