Fishing for Answers with Salmon

Not for the first time that week, I sat on a rock overlooking the falls, hypnotised by the efforts of scarred and withered salmon battling their way up a waterfall trying to understand the lesson that I might learn from them.

Diary Entry: Nov 7th, 2018 (after having tried to sketch what I could see)

I was never good at drawing. If I was you’d be able to make out the rock worn smooth from years of water rushing down the steps. The cascades slow only to take a swirl at the bottom before gravity moves them on to the next set of rocks. With as much energy and a lot more effort, the salmon battle against the heaving water to fly, swim, flicker and wriggle their aging bodies to the spawning sites.

You’d see the sky is blue, that the Autumn sun is turning the still water green against the rocks while the churning water turns white hot. There’s two trees at the far end of my viewpoint glowing like embers among the evergreen pines, sticking out like the two new kids at school. There’s five other people here now, spectators on the edge of the rocks overlooking the waterfall obstacle in the 2018 Salmon Tough Mudder. If you were here you could feel the warmth of the sun on your back too, and the rocks acting like heated flooring on an otherwise freezing day.

Why do we come to watch the fish? Perhaps these fish are here to remind us of something… That our life’s work can feel like an uphill battle perhaps? That the best things in life don’t come easy? I have sat on this rock overlooking the falls for an hour now in meditative awe trying to understand the lesson the salmon might be trying to teach me as they throw their scarred and withered bodies over and over again at nature’s most powerful force.

I have to go because it’s cold and the tops of the trees are reaching closer to the setting sun with every minute that passes. I guess I’ll conclude with the idea that the salmon are showing me that overcoming obstacles is necessary when trying to achieve goals and lead a life with meaning. Cos really, if you’re going with the flow in salmon land, you’re probably dead.

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