by Mary M

Humans take innumerable tests to determine strengths and weaknesses. They learn that they are leaders or that they are introverted or that they are organizers or that they are detail-oriented or that they are wildly creative artists, as well as all the degrees of such qualities in between. What they may not learn is to look beyond themselves, orienting to their external world as a reflection of internal space.

Perhaps when native people declare kinship with all, they see this reflection. And so, if this is true, I wonder what the salmon means in such a context? What is its reflection in our lives? The Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson suggest that salmon reflect our own inner knowing. “Salmon is the sacred keeper of wisdom and inner knowing who, despite strong river currents, will always return to the place of its creation. Its determination is driven by the wisdom of instinct . . . which yields a sense of purpose that cannot be thwarted by external forces.”

When salmon push themselves home to this place of their creation and when they leave behind them their children to continue the cycle of life, what correspondences to our own lives does this suggest? Where is home for us? And how do we find the path that will take us there? When salmon birth their children in the waters of home, what is the assumption? Perhaps that these same waters will nurture them both at the beginning and at the conclusion of their lives lived in form?

Step into Salmon form. Find yourself in the clear birth waters of your home stream. You have just been born. Where to now? And how? As with all newborns, the journey is the journey out and down, following the stream, hiding in the shallows, growing flesh, and yet miraculously holding in memory the coordinates of this place of birth as the gift you someday will give your own children.

As humans, what is the gift we hold inviolate that we pass unchanged to our children, generation without end, so that there may always be enough for all who experience this life? Could this be part of the wisdom knowledge we need to return to–this commitment lived through space and time that something remains unchanged for the future children of the Earth that they may always find their way back to the waters of home?

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