Fish, especially salmon run in my blood. My father was a fisherman. He moved from landlocked Manitoba, land of 1000 lakes to the west coast of BC in 1933; escaping the depression. My parents and my three older sisters lived on the ocean for 20 years, until I was born and my mom said that’s enough.
This weekend, we made our pilgrimage to Adams River to witness the annual salmon run. 2015 is a subdominant year when you can see 100,000+ sockeye return to spawn in October (and maybe a bear or two).
The next big year will be in 2018, where you can see millions of salmon return.
I like to go every year as it is a pilgrimage to impermanence. The salmon come to spawn and die.
Sadly, this beautiful life cycle could also be dying. Hindered by global warming, urban encroachment and overfishing, salmon numbers are dwindling. From the days of my dad when a 60 pound chinook was common place, today it would be a rarity for a sport fisherman, and you would have to go the Haida Gwaii to catch it.
Just as I now live on a riparian stream and do my best to keep it natural, I hate to think that only my paintings will be left for my great-grandchildren, when my father left me the ocean.
We all know that “life is short” especially after you have reached “crone’s” age. At age four, one year is 25% of your life. A long time. At sixty it is 1.66%. A very short time. It certainly behooves all of us to be grateful for each moment and savour each day.
Went to the Adams River Salmon Run yesterday. The largest return of salmon to their spawning grounds in over 100 years. The circle of life and the struggle was evident with every step along the path. The long journey from ocean, up the rivers to the spawning streams only to die ~ giving new life. I was humbled to have witnessed it. The sadness in their death gave me a renewed appreciation for my life and a vow to make every moment count. Like a fine aged wine, I will savour every sip and be a connoisseur of my own existence and continue to create a vision.
In the words of Melody Beattie
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Circle of Life Picture Credit:
Artist Frank Howell from First People is a child friendly site about Native Americans and members of the First Nations. 1400+ legends, 400+ agreements and treaties, 10,000+ pictures, free clip art, Pueblo pottery, American Indian jewelry, Native American Flutes and more.