You are a trout

Posted 09.17.16

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | Imagine for a moment or two a very different life. Imagine you are a trout, beautiful, quick, sleek and wary -- in every way -- and you live in a deep pond on a wide river not far north-west of Aylmer, Quebec. But the pool sits above a high falls and fierce rapids. You live your life in this great pool and you feel constantly the pull of the current as it rushes towards the falls.

You are strong and alert and can avoid the swift flow, the centre of the river's current, but you always feel the pull whenever you wander too far to the centre, and each time you move away easily, like a trout.

You live here, troubled and untroubled, free and circumscribed; you have a family, eat well, enjoy friends, and make your living here, until one day, through a lapse of attention, which has been growing for years, you slip into the current and are quickly pulled in.

A fierce flip of your powerful back and strong tail -- is not enough. You are caught by your own life's surroundings, hit by the tumult, the white water, the falls, the crash, bumps, smacks, upside-down and backwards ... suddenly ... suddenly, you're OK. The current has come back together and it slows now, flows widely into another great pool, beneath the falls and broken stones into another big pool, but you quickly see, after a few fast runs, that this is not your pool ... not your home ... not your family ... your spouse is gone; this is not your life.

You cannot stay here. You want your life back, your family, you head back, you fight the current with your great tail ... but the water is too strong, coming from a million places, too broken-up into hundreds of tiny, wiry streams from between the rocks, a thousand arrows. You fall back.

Exhausted, you circle the pond once again. Is there another outlet, not downstream, not away from your home? No. You return to the current, trapped in the wrong place, in the wrong life. You test the current again and again, it seems stronger while you feel weaker, older perhaps, more fatigued, even frightened. You feel trapped -- in another far-distant life. It's not your life, not what you had planned; it's not what you have accomplished. You cannot return.

The old pool, with its mossy stones and shady tree trunks, the old pool is gone.

That would be how it feels, until you get swept up again, building your new life. Could you do it?


Copyright © 2016 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/09.16