I watched salmon spawning today. There is a stock pond with a man-made salmon in one of the local parks. I go there for a walk sometimes, and today noticed a bunch of little salmon swimming up the waterway that runs parallel to the river. I hadn't watched salmon swimming upstream before, so spent some time. It was different than I expected. On TV, it seems like salmon are leaping up falls in groups as the diligently forge the way ahead. This was rather different. The waterway is a series of small falls - maybe a foot or less in height each - separated by pools where the water slows before taking the next fall. The salmon were collected in these pools, pointing upstream. Occasionally one would press forward into the white water of the fall, only to scurry back. Even more occasionally one would attempt the jump. During the time I watched, I saw three attempts, only one of which succeeded by flopping onto a flat rock and then off again into the next pool. I know fish were succeeding, because as I walked upriver each pool was full of fish, and they couldn't have gotten to where they were without succeeding on all the previous jumps. I finally got to the end, where the water falls from the pond, and that waterfall was bigger - maybe three feet high or so. I did not see any fish in the pond, though there was a reasonably steady stream of salmon flying back from the falls in failure. I noticed these fish were larger than the ones I had seen in previous pools. I assume this is not a quick swim, but one in which the salmon are growing and gaining strength as they swim upstream. I don't know how long it takes salmon to grow but I plan to check again in a couple days to see if many have made it into the pond.
It got me thinking about my life, and how slow and plodding it sometimes feels to get the goals I want. My book still only has a few reviews, for example, and while I have high hopes it is painfully slow. However, I am still working on the second book, and continuing to press forward, so I suppose that slowly I am improving and getting stronger. I think it's better that way. Sudden success may not allow as much personal growth as the extended duration of working for a goal. It is kind of an encouraging thought, as I have been getting frustrated lately and now feel a little more motivated to work on my skills and continue writing.
Also, tomorrow is the first day of the term for me so I will be starting classes. Here's to a semester of working hard and (hopefully) success in school and in writing!
Bryant Reil currently resides in Kelowna, BC. Recent accomplishments include completing a Master's degree, and having finished two books, Elf Mastery and Elf Doubt. The third book, Elf Righteous, is underway.