I wrote this story for an under 300 word contest. The story came to me after standing by a stream in a park outside of Seattle that had a sign about the stream, that fifty years
ago, during spawning season, the stream was filled with salmon bank to bank. Next
fall I’ll have to check out how few there are. And there was a metal statue of
the otter in the park. Now that it’s been sent off, I may work on it some more.
RUNNING WITH THE SALMON
There is something about being close to running water that gives me the feeling that I am the water. I like that ideation, after all, we humans did come from water and it is where I spent thefirst 9 months of my life. Our bodies are 60% to 70% water, our brains, 72%.
I’m more water than who I think I am.
Even though I haven’t been a great swimmer and don’t spend too much time in water, I
love rivers and streams. I love having that imagery of me actually being running water.
My Indian name was “Running Water.” I liked that. I never thought of that being my
name, but that is who I have been as a native person.
I have a memory, maybe from a dream, of something I can’t remember ever doing,
but something is in me, where I can see myself, running along the bank of a
small stream, watching thousands of salmon filling the stream from bank to
bank. It was a thrill to keep up with the salmon. I see myself getting ahead of
the salmon then I stop, turn, and watch them come towards me.
Sometimes, in memory, I see an otter in the water fishing.
Today I actually saw a mother otter with her baby standing on its hind legs. Baby
otters face was so close to mother otters face, their whiskers were almost
touching. They were so real, well, they weref real, but metal, a sculpture, in a
park, with a stream, that once had, in another time, when there was more peace,
tons of salmon that filled the stream, as they came back to spawn, then die,
bringing peace to all realms.