American Author, Norman Maclean ended his novel, A River Runs Through It, with this simple sentence: "I am haunted by waters."
I, too, am haunted by waters. I could stare at a river or stream for hours. There is something about moving water—much like fire—that captivates my heart and soul. It takes me back to Alaska, where I was born.
In September of 2009, I actually travelled back to Alaska and drove all around that "last frontier." I would frequently stop at rivers and streams to watch the water. As I watched, I would inevitably see a host of red salmon, swimming against the current.
I think those memories of the red salmon were burned into my soul. Their journey fascinates me. They are born in the upper reaches of rivers, they then swim downstream and live most of their lives in the ocean. Then, at some point in their lives, they feel the need to go home—this pull to return to the place where they were born. Using their sense of smell (or perhaps magnetoception), they locate their natal river, swim upstream, return home, and spawn. Shortly thereafter, the salmon die. But their sacrifice gave birth to new life.
I often think about the salmon run in relation to life. As I've said before, It is my firm belief that we are all pilgrims on the earth—that we are all trying to find our way back to our heavenly home.
The salmon run is, perhaps, the most vivid illustration of my philosophy. We, like the salmon, are busy exploring this world . . . and yet something inside of us is calling us home. If we heed that call, we will most certainly be asked to do difficult things and swim upstream. And yes, this journey will most certainly result in our death—or, at least, a death of the life we have known. But that death will invariably lead to an abundance of life.
Do you hear the call?
If so, you are haunted by waters.