Walden Chronicles XV – Fishy Tales

My daughter tells me I must have been a fish in a previous life. A thought I have had myself, splashing goggle eyed in the pond. Not a pretty thing like the rainbow fish. A salmon maybe, watching the currentless water pushing past me, pushing me backward to the place I have just been. I especially notice this as as I am reaching into the deepest part of the pond…

I am climbing a mountain, my legs sinking foot by foot. Wedging them into the water cliff, arms bent in the crawl, pushing down on the weight of water like rock, I propel myself up a mountain face… until I reach the summit.

Or perhaps I am climbing over the crest of the earth’s curvature.

There are the days when I feel as though I am being pulled into the vortex of the pond. That deepest darkest silent heart of her. My efforts to climb are not those of a mountaineer reaching a summit, but a sailor shipwrecked at sea, desperate for survival, struggling not to be dragged under by the tempestuous waters.

Reaching the other side the water smooths and I suddenly find a lightness that lifts me like flight. My legs come from under me to that marvelous mysterious place where my hips sit on the surface, gently rolling side to side so I skim the liquid breeze. Lying, lazing on the blue glass of the earth. These are the sometimes, the better moments when I think perhaps I was a dolphin in that past life. Or a mermaid.

As a child I remember the lyrics of the song that went like

“would you like to swing on a star,

carry moonbeams home in a jar

are you better off as you are

or would you like to be a…


The thought that I might turn into a fish was positively frightening to me in those child days. But not so now…perhaps because the adult me knows how impossible it is…but the thought of being able to swim forever…

The rhythm, the balance, the symmetry of breath and motion…there is something healing in that…


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