The ancestors of tomorrow


Scaled silver bullets evade the shining hooks of fishers, out-dashing sea lions to hold where saltwater meets fresh. The rivers swell with the autumn rain, and the waiting dog salmon pulse from ocean into stream. The anadromous beasts bid a final farewell to the same estuary that raised them as young fish. Now they are welcomed back through the brackish gateway to the river after years of growing in the Pacific. The sea-strong chum fin upstream. Purple stripes stain their sides like war paint as they dodge the claws of bears and slip past the teeth of fishing wolves. Not all will make it back to spawn upon the very spot in which they were born, but the ones who do will dig their redds until their tails are worn. 

Salmon remind me that we are the ancestors of tomorrow. Witnessing these fish give their bodies to fuel the future, I am given perspective. What I do or do not do today does matter. Every decision a thread in the tapestry of tomorrow. The future created by those who live today soon becomes a gift to our children; their present. I hope they will know the gifts given by salmon, too.

April Bencze