Saturday, October 10, 2009

Finding Inspiration in Kokanee Salmon

A couple weeks ago I took my kids to see the bright red kokanee salmon making their way upstream in the Little Bear River above Porcupine Reservoir. As I watched these beautiful fish swimming among the rocks in the shallow water, I struggled with wondering what sort of inspiration could be drawn for both life and writing from a journey in which a fish returns to its hatching grounds after a few short years of life solely to spawn and die. What drives that undeniable urge? And why?

Although as humans, we're nothing like fish, I've come to realize that in some ways we may mirror this behavior when we allow ourselves to give in to that gut-wrenching pull toward something or someone we like in hopes that the journey forward will lead us to a place that resembles our roots, shapes the foundation of our soul, and sharpens our senses to the point of knowing what it means to truly be alive. So that at the end of it all, we can say, yes, life's ultimate journey was worth it, even if we did get battered among the rocks along the way. Because feeling something is the first step toward believing, and believing in something provides the purpose for moving forward, even if we're swimming against the current and dodging all sorts of debris coming our way.

For me, I want to believe that the ultimate journey will have been about love. I want to be able to say that I held on to it when it was found. That I did everything I could to make it grow, and that in doing so, in sharing it with those around me, made my corner of the world a better place.

Last week, I came across a quote I liked from Souza. Here's part of it:

Love as though you've never been hurt before....Live as though heaven were on earth.