Salmon Journeys

The health of salmon, reflects the health of ourselves. This fish-shaped being has a lot to teach us about ourselves and our communities and about the water that sustains us. Let us build a global community to share in these teachings.

So write about salmon. Dream about salmon. Create dances that praise them. Sing about them also. And contribute your thoughts so that the alchemy of change for the well being of salmon can grow. Salmon are us. Their journey is our journey–from the waters of home to the ocean of transformation–and as we care for them so we care for ourselves and for our relations.

So these pages are for the alchemy of change. They are for salmon, for water, for the bravery of fish whose journey home occurs in lesser and lesser numbers, against overwhelming odds. Yet still they travel, as do we.

WATERS OF OUR BEGINNING

by Mary M

We are all of us water beings, women especially. And as such, like the whales or the dolphins or especially like the salmon, we are called to make our journeys.

Where do our journeys begin? With our own lives? With our parents’ lives? With our parents’ parents’ lives?

Salmon journeys began…how do we know when? Perhaps these great fish traveled in the water from the sky as the ancestors  tell. Or perhaps they began in the well of knowledge where the salmon fed from the hazel nuts, as  the Celtic story goes. Or perhaps they lept out of our ancestral dreaming. Salmon are an ancient people and, though much diminished, they are with us still. They are still on their journey and the end of that journey is unknown.
If, as I believe, the salmon’s journey is our journey, and if the salmon’s health is our health, this fish-shaped being has a lot to teach us about ourselves and our communities and about the water that sustains us. All indigenous teachings acknowledge the spirit that resides generally and specifically in all creation. The water is alive, the earth alive, the air alive, the fire alive, and so, those who dwell within these living beings live also. But were we to regard the salmon as a physician would, we might recognize that the Salmon people are in grave danger–and that we are in danger too. But healing begins with a desire to be healed and if we are indeed water beings on a journey, might not our journeys also benefit the journeys of all our kind–human and non?

So these pages are for the alchemy of change. They are for salmon, for water, for the bravery of fish whose journey home occurs in lesser and lesser numbers, against overwhelming odds. Yet still they travel, as do we.

So write about salmon. Dream about salmon. Create dances that praise them. Sing about them also. And contribute your thoughts here so that the alchemy of change for the well being of salmon can grow. Salmon are us. Their journey is our journey–from the waters of home to the ocean of transformation–and as we care for them so we care for ourselves and for our relations.

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HOW SALMON CAME TO THE WELL

by Mary M

I ponder where they first came from, these Salmon people swimming in the well of knowledge. I have seen them painted in threes–there are always three, aren’t there–not so different, of course, than the Three Graces of the Greeks who still inspire us.

And then I remember…a well of water is a place of transition, a corridor of transportation between one reality and another, a vortex perhaps, and here after so much traveling and so many dangers the salmon stop, swim peacefully, calmly eat their fill of wisdom, as if they were always among us.

Into The Well

The People, beautiful of form,
Silver and gold, tawny, lithe, and playful
Bourne upward toward the portal of creation
Dark to light, tumbling, spiraling, whirling,

Traveling from form to form, worlds without end
only
to stop
at the Portal Door

Puzzled.
Bemused.
Where next? they question the Guardian
Who stops them

Your choice, he replies
Other worlds, or this world? Which?
But I will tell you . . .

The People here are different
From what you know. They are hungry
Their souls are hungry
Though they do not understand this.

They will kill you here

So The People
Mothers, daughters, fathers, sons
All of them flawless in their beauty
Spoke softly among themselves
Some agreeing, some not,

Then finally all of them
as one decided

They need us, they said

And so they chose sacrifice

The Salmon People
Surged forth up and up
Into the well
Bearing their great hearts
And so
Came forward

To us.

SO WHAT’S UP WITH SALMON?

by Mary M

Just when I thought Salmon were cooked…that is committed to a slow languorous decline, the story twists and turns and takes a new direction.

Along the Fraser River in British Columbia, inexplicable numbers of wild sockeye salmon are returning home to spawn. Twenty-five million are estimated.

Why now? Why the largest return since 1913—in almost 100 years?

The marine biologists don’t seem to know.

Native elders have an idea.

They are suggesting that salmon are a lot like trees or plants or even humans, and that in times of stress when the window of life appears to be closing, they stretch themselves, call forth what creative strength there is within them and give birth . . . they spew forth seeds. . . they thrust forth life so as not to vanish from the Earth.

A friend reminds that these extraordinary numbers of salmon are hopeful, a signal of new life, the seeding of the waters of home for future generations.

I hope so.

Throughout the U.S. and Canada at the time the salmon return there are festivals that call forth our ancient memories–the cycles of birth, growth, and homecoming kept in the company of each other, both fish and human. In the long ago time, the elders welcomed the fish, because the fish meant life; their sacrifice meant life for the People. And so the salmon were greeted, and they were sung to, and they were captured respectfully, usually with prayer.

What would life be like for all of us if they were greeted this way now? . . . If our elders (themselves fully honored for their wisdom) stood on the banks of the Fraser singing welcome to these muscled sturdy fish returning home, women all of them, carrying in them the seeds of new life.

We have journeyed far from those times. There are so many of us now, so many who expect salmon on our plates as our right and who scarcely remember to express gratitude.

I am thinking, as I do with all wild beings, of how many industries the salmon uphold on their backs: the fishermen who catch them; the seafood distributors, truckers, airlines, grocery stores, and restaurants that disburse them; even the biologists who say how many can be caught, and environmental organizations who fight for their access to the waters of home . . . and this is only a partial list. Would it not be right to give thanks that wild salmon still walk with us before we take and eat? In the act of honoring might be the taste of redemption.

Is there hope for wild salmon in this ever-changing world? And is there hope for us, for the descendants of the humans who once, with gratitude and celebration welcomed the salmon home, and ate selectively? What does sacrifice mean in this context?

A friend of mine who knows how to pray once assisted in stream clean-up along a salmon tributary. He also made his prayers that the land and water again would receive these Salmon People. When he returned the following day to pray at sunrise, his back to the water, he heard a tremendous thrashing. With little water in the stream a huge female coho still pushed up the little stream, hurrying home.

So, I asked him, when I heard this story, if we couldn’t just pray and by our prayers request that the salmon to return to us.

We can pray, he reminded, but we also have to work. What good would it do these beings if we drew them back and they had no home to come to?

This may be a lesson for us all, one of our deepest lessons that salmon have to teach. Wild salmon call for sacrifice as significant as those they make. They require us to greet them, to honor them, and with our hands and hearts make a place for them.

I wonder if the true salmon, the salmon of our forefathers, will be able to wait around for that.

WHAT IF?

by Mary M

Humans take innumerable tests to determine strengths and weaknesses. They learn that they are leaders or that they are introverted or that they are organizers or that they are detail-oriented or that they are wildly creative artists, as well as all the degrees of such qualities in between. What they may not learn is to look beyond themselves, orienting to their external world as a reflection of internal space.

Perhaps when native people declare kinship with all, they see this reflection. And so, if this is true, I wonder what the salmon means in such a context? What is its reflection in our lives? The Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson suggest that salmon reflect our own inner knowing. “Salmon is the sacred keeper of wisdom and inner knowing who, despite strong river currents, will always return to the place of its creation. Its determination is driven by the wisdom of instinct . . . which yields a sense of purpose that cannot be thwarted by external forces.”

When salmon push themselves home to this place of their creation and when they leave behind them their children to continue the cycle of life, what correspondences to our own lives does this suggest? Where is home for us? And how do we find the path that will take us there? When salmon birth their children in the waters of home, what is the assumption? Perhaps that these same waters will nurture them both at the beginning and at the conclusion of their lives lived in form?

Step into Salmon form. Find yourself in the clear birth waters of your home stream. You have just been born. Where to now? And how? As with all newborns, the journey is the journey out and down, following the stream, hiding in the shallows, growing flesh, and yet miraculously holding in memory the coordinates of this place of birth as the gift you someday will give your own children.

As humans, what is the gift we hold inviolate that we pass unchanged to our children, generation without end, so that there may always be enough for all who experience this life? Could this be part of the wisdom knowledge we need to return to–this commitment lived through space and time that something remains unchanged for the future children of the Earth that they may always find their way back to the waters of home?

SALMON RUN

By Beverly Benner Ogle

Let me tell you of a Journey
About to begin from the ocean where Salmon swim around
Restlessly they wait to begin
A trek back to their Native Spawning Ground

Their Journey has many dangers
as Salmon swim up Creek, River and Stream
Struggling the whole way
to fulfill a part in life’s little scheme

Many battle to make this journey
Knowing they won’t live to make it twice
they leave an example for posterity
one of the ultimate self sacrifice

Now they swim upon these rivers
going against the currents, man and bear
Little brothers & sisters testing all the odds
to replenish the land and do their share

So as the season starts to begin
let’s offer a prayer for our brother and sister the Salmon
Without whose selfless contribution
the people and culture would feel the pain of famine

 

ENVIRONMENT WE FISH IN

by Mary M

“The idea that we live in something called “the environment” is utterly preposterous . . . The world that environs us, that is around us, is also within us. We are made of it; we eat, drink, and breathe it; it is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.”

— Wendell Berry

In caring for the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, we care for ourselves. My mother used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does.” Indeed. Clean outside is clean inside. The world calls us to look around and to consider. It mirrors our souls’ depths.

TELL ME WHERE YOU CAME FROM IF YOU CAN?

by Mary M

In a lunch room, I am mesmerized by the cream cheese bagel before me. It might help my story if this bagel contained lox with the cream cheese, but it is only cream cheese–I am a vegetarian. Still, for the sake of my story and this post, imagine the lox there, savory salmon strips tender and pink resting on the cheese. Luscious.

And imagine me, ravenously about to eat, staring wild-eyed at my plate, seeing this bagel for the first time, as if it glowed with some otherworldly something that made me see it as more than itself. Where did this strange object called BAGEL came from? I mean, really, WHERE?

Where did the wheat grow that became the bread flour? Who harvested it? How intensely blue was the sky on that day, and how warm the earth? Were animals watching at the edge of the field, alarmed by the noises of harvest?And the milk for the cheese? Which cow gave it? How healthy was that cow? How free? And the salmon? Were they wild or farmed? Did they give themselves freely or were they taken?

This strange thing, this bagel, in that inexplicable moment, became my mandala, my key to the changing world. I studied its perfect form, its pleasing roundness identical to the other bagels uniformly popped out of wrappers by others around me. My bagel was commodity only, a unit of nutrition weighed and measured, packaged and shipped.

And yet hidden in it were the journeys of plants and animals and fish. Hidden in it were stories, most about servitude, some human and some not.

Everything on this Earth is more than it appears. How ironic that the strong determined beings respected as People, a tribe in their own right to whom our ancestors, perhaps more humane than us, once gave thanks and offerings for the wild pink flesh that became their food . . . that we mere humans now refer to these great People as our resources, as if they ever belonged to us.

Whose bagel is it really?

Mine because I pay for it?

Or the Earth’s, who mysteriously out of carbon and hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and a few other elements to sweeten life, called forth these miracles to sustain us?

For such gifts what will we give so that those who come after us may be blessed by them too?

BURSTING THE BUBBLE, LETTING IN LIGHT

by Mary M

We are all children of the same Mother–our flesh is hers; it returns to her–and sometimes she reminds us.

In the sobering events of the last days, we have watched images of her power. As the tsunami burst across the northern coastlands of Japan, we saw her face in the water.

In a less technological age, we either would not have known of these events, or the speed of communication would have required weeks to spread the story. But now our knowing is instant. Headlines on the internet reflect updates made only moments before. We watch our Mother change instantaneously, calm ocean to fierce. And we may read in the changes she brings to one place that changes may come as unexpectedly to others.

What human technology can halt the shifting of tectonic plates? What bubble of human knowing can stand against that face in the water?

It has always been so. In all our stories. Creation stories. Stories of First Man and First Woman. Stories of the Twins. Stories of the Flood. The story of Atlantis. Our grand Western archetypical poems that include the wanderings of Odysseus. Perhaps even more recently the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.

The bubble of our human knowing floats always within the larger circle of the sustaining Earth. And sometimes we are allowed a little more time to root in, to anchor ourselves, to strengthen our relationships.

We are all related. We are ALL of us RELATED. The air above one nation penetrates another. And so today we read about Japan’s nuclear power plant leak that has followed the earthquake’s and the tsunami’s unsettling of the ground on which it was built or–I might claim–rooted.

What happens to our roots when the ground shifts?

How strong are we in our relationships? How strong are our families, our human communities, our love and respect for our non-human brothers and sisters among whom we so often unseeingly walk?

We have the opportunity still to remember and honor these precious ones. We have time to protect those, human and not, who still walk with us, and who, even though weakened by our frequent blind pursuits of self interest, struggle to remain.

The power, as it has always been, resides in our communities. It resides in the food we eat and how we honor that food before we consume it–how attentive we are to where it came from and how it links its molecules with ours to give us strength. It resides in our neighbors and how much we demonstrate our love for them. It resides in the plants under our feet, the humble plants, that so generously heal us.

This is our work, to honor and build these connections.

And to thank our brothers and sisters in Japan, in their time of grief and rebuilding, for a little more time to burst the bubble of our own forgetting and to let in the light.

THE OLD VIRTUES

by Mary M

In a discussion of religion, my friend says, “We have the teachings of Buddha and Christ and Mohammad. And we have those who say they follow these great teachings. What I want to know is, do they really?”

“No,” he suddenly, forcefully answers his own question. “Because the path is not easy. There is no chocolate for us on THAT road, no fast cars, no gold to pile up, no illusion that we are rulers of the world or that, if not us, possibly our children. And so we create ‘work-arounds’ that let us appear virtuous to our neighbors while still we do whatever evil, small or large, we want.”

Ah.

What is virtue, a word more prevalent three or four generations past–that practice of our grandparents’ grandparents? I was taught that virtues are the simple, heart-based qualities of a good life. They are the first, most basic teachings, the consistent steps along the human path offered to us in all the old stories so that we may live balanced, healthy lives.

Consider them: Truth. Goodness. Respect. Humility. Honor. Love. Compassion. These are a few–the practices, that, in your heart, make you warm.

They teach us that we cannot be a little bit virtuous–just as we also cannot be a little bit toxic or, for that matter, a little bit clean.

All of our teachings, world wide, instruct us to speak the truth, perhaps the most basic of all these basic teachings. Oh there are clever animals in some teaching stories that do not hold forth truthfully. But the consequences of their cleverness generally is pain, either to themselves or others. And so, of course, truth is more than the spoken word, causing the teachings to go deep and broad, and to reach far.

But to begin, what would it look like to speak the truth only? To make truth-telling our practice, whether in our intimate relationships with family and friends or our interchange with public processes? What would it mean to us to know that truth was the standard by which our public administrators judged themselves and their service to their citizenry?

Without virtue, we live like drunken drivers, weaving down the highway of life unsure of which lane we should hold to. And so, understandably, disaster happens. And the disasters mount, as we are seeing, more and more quickly.

Wild ones do not know how to lie. Theirs are always truthful lives. Has a salmon ever told a lie? Has this brave creature ever claimed to go where he hasn’t gone, to take more food than he has agreed to take? Wild ones live the old virtues. Their lives are their testimony. They have no choice but truth. And so they remain our first natural teachers.

Humans, however, have the gift of choice, and generally, as my friend notes, we tend to choose poorly, to choose the most convenient path.

But to be born human may still be a supreme honor and a gift if we take the opportunities it gives. We have been given teachers who have taught us. We have been given animals who have taught us. We have been given guidance placed in our own hearts that has taught us.

And we still have time–though some days it appears there is not much –to choose to practice these old virtues that teach us how to live in alignment with all that is.

The salmon are virtuous because they are. We have the opportunity to be virtuous because we choose.

So simple, and yet so seemingly hard, this driving sober down the road. But in our choice is the key to freedom–both for ourselves and others. We know who we are and we know where we stand at any time of the day or night, whether the seas rise to consume us or the weather is fair.

CHANGING TIME

by Mary M.

The New York Times today reports that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan has changed time. Essentially, the quake altered the weight distributed around the axis of the Earth’s spin, altering the Earth wobble and thereby shortening a day by 1.8 millionths of a second.

In the report, scientists counseled that this is not unusual, that the Earth’s wobble is always changing, altered most recently by the 8.8 earthquake in Chile last year (shortening day by 1.26 millionths of a second and moving the axis by three inches) and the Sumatra earthquake in 2004 (shortening day by 6.8 millionths of a second).

Not much time, that 1.8 millionth of a second, but precious nevertheless. Perhaps in the short term its impact on human lives in most of the Earth nations is minute. But I am pondering its impact on our non-human relatives whose seasons are guided by the rotations of Mother Earth and her magnetic poles. I wonder what that 1.8 millionth of a second means to the whales and to the birds and to the monarch butterflies and, of course, to the Salmon People.

I wonder how they experienced this great shifting of the Earth.

A friend who retired to enjoy life on water found herself in the Gulf of Mexico the evening of the Sumatran quake. Distant from news, she and her husband sailed late in the dark, seeking harbor, when unexpectedly the water around them churned with fish–dolphins and others–schools of moving forms shadowed in the dark. Only when they reached harbor, anchored and woke the next morning did she see the news and coordinate the time of the quake with the activity in the water around their boat.

We hear that time is speeding up, and we feel its impact in the rapidity of information access, the intensity of our daily lives (seemingly more work and less time to accomplish it), the pace at which technology jettisons us into the future. Even the spinning off into space of 1.8 millionth of a second alters, on some ineffable plane of existence, the nature of our lives.

Perhaps like Changing Woman, the Navajo Being who models for us adaptability to life, we also adapt. We are of the Earth, as surely as the creatures of the sea, and perhaps this event gives us opportunity to reclaim that understanding, not only for ourselves but for all the Earth’s children–four-foot, two-foot, rooted plant-foot, fin, and wing–while we all still have time.

WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT ALL

by Mary M.

Perception is a funny thing. Study people walking past you and you see, well, people. But REALLY? Study birds flying by at lightning speeds in the gathering energies of spring and you see, well, birds. But REALLY? Are we what we see think we see?

Anatomy teaches us that all sorts of things live beneath the skin of of our flesh–actually comprise our flesh–and these are things our eyes alone, marvelous as they are, do not reveal. The anatomy of one cell is sufficient to cause me to fall to my knees in rapt adoration of the wisdom of life invisible to my eyes. And yet pulsing through me are uncountable numbers of these strange beings that, in cooperation with one another, make me who I am.

Study a human cell. Although you may see nothing familar, a crash course in cell anatomy will reveal that the cell–and the organism that is you–function similarly. The differences are only a matter of degree and familiarity with shape and function. And so, within the cell there are factories for the creation of energy and public media departments capable of sending data at unfathomable speed to the far reaches of the cell and even a military of sorts, policing boundaries and devouring invaders.

Sound familiar?

And all within you… and me.

So much for a rapid-fire tour of the inside. What about the outside?

Spiritual practices and now scientific experiment teach us that again more exists than we have been trained to see. As piezoelectric beings, we carry an electrical charge, which is my explanation for the thin white halo painted around the saints and sometimes visible to the human eye. It also may be why, at a party, a comfortable room becomes inexplicably crowded after one more person joins the group–energy meeting, pulsing and occupying space.

Sometimes I regard the forms I see–humans, birds, fish, all–as seeds, hard on the outside to protect the as-yet-unexpressed potential within, and hot–piezoelectric–with life beyond the shell that is eager to take form.

The challenge is that we are more than we think we are and less also. We are hot with the powers of life and simultaneously cold, protected, waiting, possibly anxious seeds seeking earth and water to grow and fearing these may not be present when we need them. It is time to wake up.

As the planet we ride daily becomes more tempestuous and we wonder what resources we have around us to aid ourselves and others, our Mother continues to grant us opportunities–wanted or not, painful or no–to explore the piezoelectric part of our being. All life is charged, electrical. All contains fire, the creative force, one of the elements that birthed us. Without heat, water can not conceive.

And so, in our global agony, as we seek to do what comes to hand to encourage and to bless our brothers and sisters in need (human and not), it is good to recall that we are as much the children of fire as we are of water and that the power to create new sources of hope–new flowers of life–may be closer than we see.

In the human eye, photons of light transform into patterns that the mind can interpret and name. Light or fire or creativity must meet us on our physical plane before we can see its face and name it.

Even as the ground beneath us is changing, perhaps we–like the cells within us–can work together, fueled by the unseen force of our own creative fire, to bring forth a new day for all our global family.

COURTING HOPE

by Mary M.

“When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the place of wild things who do not tax their lives with the forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

Wendell Berry, Openings

Where do you go when you are courting hope? Tell me.

LOVE

by Mary M.

Today, from North Carolina, from Texas, from the Netherlands, from the smallest towns and the largest nations, friends around the world circulated Dr. Masaru Emoto’s request for a global ceremony acknowledging and blessing the waters of the Fukushima Nuclear Plant.

I imagine these waters, working to do their duty even though the ability to cool has been removed from them. Confused perhaps, these waters, their patterns of behavior altered. Disorganized also, to my mind not unlike other of the world’s water bodies before they were prayed and sung over during Dr. Emoto’s work.

And possibly also these waters are craving escape — wouldn’t you — craving to loose their essence in the larger body of Mother Water whose vastness promises more comfort than the small tight quarters where they are bound. Water also barely remembering its crystalline structure and yet . . . and yet . . . like any one of us who unexpectedly hears faint whispers on the wind that speak of love . . . still fertile with the potential to find direction and slowly, slowly begin to re-member themselves.

What can we do for such waters?

Simple words.

Water of Fukushima Nuclear Plant, we are sorry to make you suffer.
Please forgive us. We thank you, and we love you.

Sweet words to those who has been denied honor for a long time.

Words like these were prayed not so many months ago for the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Now just short of a year from the Gulf of Mexico explosion that so traumatized the United States and other world nations, the waters off of Northern Japan have been compromised also. How many other such events do we need before we as a world body remember and safeguard the preciousness of this liquid life?

Perhaps at first glance the waters of the Gulf and the waters of Northern Japan seem far removed from the waters that nurture salmon. Perhaps they also seem far removed from the water that supplies our inner seas and maintains the health of the earthy lands that are our bodies’ muscles.

But as our human world expands to include ever more complex global perspectives, the connections become clear.

And the answer simple.

All that is required is the tipping point of love.

And so the world’s people are sending the energy of love, and surely the water hears.

Water of Fukushima Nuclear Plant, we are sorry to make you suffer.
Please forgive us. We thank you, and we love you.

How like the sweetness of pure water are the soothing words of love.

FOR THE FUTURE

by Mary M.

Mornings I practice the old prayers. These are not the fundamental ones my mother taught. Though she instilled in me the habit of prayer, she left me to define the specifics. My prayers now are seasoned with my journey and the instructions of those others I have met along the way. They are no longer the expectant requests of a child but spoken and sung with the tender sadness caught in the voice of an adult. They bring me before my small altar, a mnemonic for my life.

Here are deities carved from stone who represent for me the plant, the animal, and the mineral worlds. Here too are pictures of those I love, and gifts from those who have crossed over and whom I hold in memory and in prayer. Here is water in a jar, reminding that this liquid is the basis of all our lives on Earth, and deserves our fiercest protection and most vigilant love. Also present is fire—matches, sage, and an abalone shell to pray with—as well as air, which feeds the fire and my life.

I honor them all and myself through my prayers. I pray for my mother who has gone and to my mother who remains, my Mother Earth. I ask that she be gentle with me, her daughter, that she hold me tenderly and continue to provide, and that she provide also and always for my son and for all her sons and daughters who daily walk this surface walk of life on her body. Mine is an ageless prayer, prayed by my ancestors for me and now prayed by me for my own child and for all the children who are coming and whom I will never see.

A friend told me once that seven generations ago someone I did not know breathed a prayer that my life would be blessed. He said that, as I was prayed for, so I too should pray. It brought me to tears, this thought that a woman—a mother I assumed—long vanished from this world could pray me into existence so selflessly. Now I honor her, this unknown scion of my life, by giving as she gave, praying as she prayed.

And so, at my primitive altar as I acknowledge the fire and the air and the water and the earth, which is me, I form my request: May my oldest mother love me always, and not only me. May her tenderness and her enduring strength extend far into the future and may she find waiting there another woman, unseen, unknown, who speaks her prayer of hope as I do now for all the beautiful children who may come.

And in this way, prayer extending out to be snared by prayer, which is prayed again, and then again through time, ageless, may the beauties of life be granted without end and may we witness and express our gratitude as they come.

UNEXPECTED VISITOR

In a far, far away distance
an Ancient Tree,
a Teacher,
awaits a long anticipated
and long overdo visit.

A life altering fog had crept in,
into the minds of far too many,
on what appeared to be
infinite waves
of manufactured circuitry.

One night,
unexpected,
Earth cast a shadow
upon a full harvest moon.

With cat like stealth,
Ancestral Wisdoms
showered down upon
a dreamer.

wcj 10.09.2014

70 YEARS AWAY

After 70 or more years of no Wild Coho salmon runs on Blueline creek in western Marin County, mankind’s wisdom keepers returned in the late 1990’s.Some many later, they still return. This area, broken down by a neglectful Highway 1 construction practice and years of over grazed creek banks, this tributary of water to  nearby Olema Creek found solace and respect in the volunteers, ranchers, spiritual practitioners, and science professionals, who worked together to help restore this creek and welcome back Wild Coho.

This photograph is of the first spawners to return to the creek. Male watching over female.

I trust your family is well wise ones.

EARTH DAY

by Mary M.

She is bigger than all of us and contains all that we are and still she has room for more. Uncounted multitudes come from her and return to her also. All shapes and colors. All sizes too. She is the beginning and the end of our physical form.

She is a planet. She is a place on a map. She is the map.

She is the elephant we blind ones barely see, believing she is the tail we feel or the foot or the trunk.

She is the place we continually attempt to escape from also, yearning to be more than she is, like any child who seeks to outrace his mother.

She is the anchor for our far ranging minds, bringing us home each morning when our feet slip from bed and we touch her again after riding all night through the stars on her broad and generous back.

She is the source of us, and the source of our Salmon brothers and sisters also. Indeed, a book titled Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, a paleotologist and professor of anatomy, demonstrates the physiological debt we owe to these water beings–relates that fish fin and bone are not as far removed from human fingers and cranial bones as we might expect. Even the meandering pathways of our nerves demonstrate our Earth mother’s ever resourceful ingenuity, using and using again, and adapting to make the most of what is close at hand.

Earth draws on the same materials to make us all. She makes us from herself.

It is this weaving and adapting that draws us all into relationship, weaves the fish of our outer Earth-sourced rivers into the elements that flow through our inner rivers toward our heart.

Perhaps with this image of the interconnected waters of our outer and inner worlds–and of the fish that float through them whether in elemental form as cells or in the macroscopic colors of fish flesh that delight our eyes–we may see more clearly how much like these brothers and sisters we truly are.

And we may celebrate not just an annual day that gives mainstream companies another chance to shout about their religious conversion to GREEN but a day that weaves us all into the same pattern of interdependent relationship. . .

A day that helps us finally to recognize that we not only are OF Earth but that we ARE Earth–that her waters and her soil and the children of her lands are woven into the very tissues of ourselves and that to extricate them (or our responsibilities for them) from our hearts would be to lose ourselves.

PEACE IN THE WATER

by Mary M.

A friend sent me the following link from a site titled “Peace in the Water,”dedicated to the seldom seen, amazing beings who travel the world’s oceans. The YouTube video is a song of praise to these beautiful creatures and a prayer that we may help create a world of peace for all.

And though the creators did not include salmon, I suspect this is only because they focused on the larger citizens of the oceans. Salmon are represented simply because we place them there, with our hearts, and ask for their healing with the fervency we ask for all creatures of Mother Earth.

https://goo.gl/L6E7vr

For specifics on salmon in British Columbia, an excellent long running blog:

http://www.salmonguy.org/

offers specific salmon stories.