Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Salmon run. Fall on the Englishman River.

 The air is still fresh on this frosty morning despite the rotting salmon carcases littering the cobbled shores. The river swings wide around the curves and brushes smoothly against its banks, eating away on the outside and depositing gravel on the inside of the bends, in the act of snaking slowly back and forth across its floodplain, as it has for thousands of years. Salmon have long returned here to spawn and leave their eggs to mature beneath the gravel and then let their used-up bodies enrich the river life, the dense undergrowth and tall trees that line the banks. What seems a simple sight, the salmon spawning once more, is really only the visible aspect of a complex ecosystem. We come to look, but miss the complex strands of life that are bound together: river, salmon, vegetation and all the other species from seals to eagles, from trout to bugs, that take from and also contribute to the river.

It is easy to grasp how it was that the reality of the world, its complex interwoven-ness, became personified by our ancestors. The River God, Eagle, Frog Woman, Mink, the Salmon People ...., were personalities that reflected that great complexity. As 'Beings', they were in relationship; we, and all other life forms, the river, sky, the very rocks themselves, could interact, we could speak to them and be spoken to, be influenced and seek to influence in our turn. We humans were in communion, an acknowledged part, but not necessarily a preeminently important part, of the web of life itself. What takes a scientist to explain to us now was once accepted knowledge spun within a common language of myth and story.

So,feel the pull of the river, swim against the current, run Salmon, run.


Michelle said...

Gorgeous photos. I found you looking for a quote by Laurens van der Post (because I'm too lazy to find the book and type it out!)

Now I'm wandering about instead of copy-pasting the quote on dreaming that goes to a friend in India who just sent me a lovely blog post on the Universe being a dream... which I'm sending to a German friend who thinks the universe is the mind of God. :-) Good way to spend a lazy Christmas afternoon!

Best seasonal wishes from an African now living in Scotland. :-)

Bill said...

Read Hafiz!