Among marine life, salmon probably lead the most interesting lives. Born in freshwater rivers, they migrate to the ocean where they live most of their adult lives and, when it’s time to spawn, they start the reverse migration process swimming upstream all the way to their natal river, often to the exact riverbed area where they were born. They use chemical cues and magnetoreception to pull off this incredible feat.
The tragedy is that the reverse migration takes so much out of them that they die soon after spawning.
Or maybe it’s a tragedy to us human folk who look at their life cycle and say “Oh! What a crying shame!”
They could be fulfilling their life’s purpose exactly per plan: the salmon run and the spawning ritual capping a life well lived.
But why couldn’t the salmon live an easier life? Why does every salmon, when confronted with the R Frost choice, choose the direction less traveled?
Something to do with free will I bet.. what that they don’t possess but we humans do.
For strange and largely inexplicable reasons, I’ve been making salmon like decisions in the past decade. Rather deliberately of course.
I’m calling these decisions as my own personal salmon experiments. Some have lasted a few years, others have become pseudo-permanent, and still others are a bit like a sustained quit smoking campaign.
Here’s the list so far:
- Why take a hot bath when one can take a cold water bath?
- Why take an Ibuprofen when you can just wing it and ride the pain waves?
- Why eat more when you can eat less?
- Why remain vegetarian when you can be vegan?
- Why eat cooked food when one can eat raw? (Treading this path gingerly as marital and progeny threats are being brandished)
- Why drink coffee?
- Why take the elevator when one can take the stairs? (I’m blessed to have a son who shows the way whenever I weaken)
The good biwi has come up with the expression ‘joyless life’ to describe my gastronomic idiosyncrasies.
In my defense, I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Really.
Every experiment is a new challenge that brings with it the satisfaction of continuous summiting. Who said there’s only one type of mountain?