Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dead Fish

Dead Fish
He was just lying on the clear sandy beach around sunset.   He had appeared out of nowhere, apparently swept in by the rising evening tide.  But that is the point of the adage.  “Even dead fish can swim with the current.”  And this fish had reached the end of the line. 
This vacation had been rocky before it started as had the last year.  I realized staring down at this giant dead fish that my life had been floating along with the current for some time and I too felt like this beach would be the end of that journey.

What the photo doesn’t show is that something had begun to eat at this animal.  It was difficult to spot, but what had looked like a whole fish at first, turned out to be hollow.  I too was hollow.  Not physically of course, but the stress of what was missing made me different.  The lack of communication, compassion, unity and appreciation between myself and the family I brought with me on this trip made me feel like I was a shell of what I once was floating on a current to a distant shore. 
I saw this carcass as a sign of ending, but also as a sign that something new was about to begin.  I looked into its lifeless eyes and I decided to start over.  I may not be able to change the way my family communicated or treated one another, but I can change the way I responded to it.  I cut ties and mended others.  I basked in my grandmothers company.  I never know how many more times I will be able to say that.  I bonded with my daughter and I blocked out all the negativity brought on by those around me.  I refused to be in the company of the miserable.   I would not be the hollow fish in the current.

As the sun set, I continued to walk down the beach, leaving the fish behind me.  In the months to follow, I would rearrange my life.  I would not end up like the drum fish on the beach.  I learned the lesson.  Always forward, never with the tide.

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