Salmon of Knowledge

Once upon a time, before we named days and months, before we counted seconds and hours, we lived by watching the cycles of the Sun, Moon and Venus. We didn't look on our wrist or at the wall to know we needed to be somewhere else, we looked up to the heavens. The warmth of the winds, the directions of moving clouds, these told us what we needed to do and where we needed to go.

The beautiful land that supported us vibrated to every nuance, every change, in the flow of air in the sunbeams and in the moonshine. The earth flourished, thick branched trees shaded flowers of every hue and clear clean water fed animals and humans.

At a unblemished pool, gurgling gently up from hidden depths in this fair ground, lived nine salmon. The fish were as long as a short man is tall and they were perfect. For many cycles of the moon the salmon lived carefree. They were visited by men for their advice, they were visited by men for their knowledge. Only men, the salmon knew not of woman. And they fed on sweet hazelnuts that fell in the boundaries of their pool.

At dusk, when the moon was full, a stranger visited the salmon's pool. An unusual figure, with long hair, a gentle smile, a grace of movement not known by the salmon. Cautiously, the being bent forward, seeing a reflection in the calm clear water. The long hair stroked the pool's surface causing disturbing spiralling ridges.

The salmon gathered together in a darker recess to discuss this wonder. Excitement filled their discussion of this curiosity. One rejected the stranger with contempt, one had an emotional longing for another meeting, one was excessively enthusiastic, one had a vague disquiet attending what would happen next. Their concerns grew as they pondered the unexpected visit. They circled the pool, uneasy. Ripples deepened around their fins and played over their wide backs. Tension. Out of sight footsteps circled the pool.

A gust of air and swell in the placid water pitched the salmon apart. Momentary pain. For the first time the salmon felt the thrill of danger echoing through the pool. For the longest time the salmon were loosely suspended, tantalized, in an alarmed uplift. Terror. They knew terror.

They heard a rolling rumble from the pool's depths. Queezy waves of power surged through the water. Explosion. A crashing uproar of mud, stones, bubbles and flying debris threw the salmon, as puppets, over the pool's bank. Agony shuddered in their bodies as the pounding mayhem dashed them against rocks, slithering over nettles and thistles, hurtling across flowery meadows. The surge of the pool carried them over fields, flowing in a torment of churning havoc, drowning spiders, breaking young saplings, even stone walls crashed to the ground in its ferocity and might. Grazing cows looked up, nodded, and returned to turning grass to milk.

One wise salmon leapt clear of the churning creation and glimpsed the long haired goddess ahead of the running waters. She was dancing, singing, gloriously springing in a graceful curving joyous freedom, weaving her way across the green pasture land. The salmon fell back into the water and began to swim with the waters flow. No longer fighting the inevitable it took pleasure as its lithe body turned in the current. And so the pool flooded, ran over the land, through deep gorges and in rounded valleys. The wisdom of the salmon left the enclosed pool, and flowed across green pleasant plains to the salt water sea.

Page last updated: 12th Jan 2011