Learning from the Salmon in a group lead experience this past Sunday the salmon provided many meaningful takeaways for each participant. Witnessing the salmon in the final cycle of their life we gleaned a lot about how to navigate our own lives no matter what phase of life we are in. The creek offers great viewing of the salmon in many stages of the spawning drive to go up the river, in the slow pools resting and acclimating, to flowing 3-inch water where the majority of the fish body is out of the water, to fallen logs that create channels for rushing water and the salmon must jump over to continue the journey.
The day was clear and crisp with many people out to view the salmon as we wound our way along the bank we could hear cheers, like at a football game, for a salmon that had just navigated a treacherous part of the creek. This led to a reflection to celebrate our own steps toward a goal as well as to allow the resting and the acclimation for where you are at after expending that energy. A reorientation and an acknowledgment of the journey.
Also, the vigor and determination with which these salmon move to complete this cycle of life to ensure future generations offered a different reflection then how the majority of humans meet the last years of life.
The bank of the creek is littered with salmon who have completed the mission and now lay decomposing feeding the forest with their nutrients. One particular female salmon had her belly slit open and thousands of eggs lay exposed. This brought tears to my eyes for the unfilled potential for having come so far and not be able to complete her mission. For me, it was a good reflection of how in the past during a project I would just give up mid-project turning away from what I truly wanted because the path seemed too hard. Seeing the eggs exposed and wasted really hit home on the loss of the possibility of creation with each of those eggs representing for me an idea, a connection, a missed opportunity when I gave up and therefore perpetuating my own struggle with life.
The salmon returning home offers insight into the interconnection of life.