Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world
Rite of Passage Nine –A shoal of two–
(1955 to 1957) Age 21-23
Q: Monogamy in nature: Geese, swans, penguins, foxes and white rhinoceros’ have single male female relationships for at least a season. Do humans live with one partner as a result of a social convenience rather than a natural law?
I have spent over three years of my life researching the Chinook salmon. By now you will have become aware of this rather odd metaphoric comparison in which I set our lives (Treena and I) alongside a couple of Chinook, a ‘buck’ and a ‘hen’.
I sincerely doubt that salmon share anything like the monogamous relationships enjoyed(?) by geese and white rhinoceros but for my tale to work…it will have to be!
Treena didn’t like the fish speaking in the first person until we reached this week’s chapter 9 -when their fins touched (as our hands had touched as we exchanged rings at our marriage).
From that moment on she ‘got it’ and began to see our lives differently through the life experiences of the Chinooks.
I do hope that can happen for you, because the more we can identify with this endangered species, the more we shall see how we humans can endanger not only such wild life…but also each other?
So…what about now?
As I now write –we are becoming increasingly aware of the small number of humans that are living a different kind of life than that lived by vast numbers of people for at least the last five thousand years?
It started –the notion of a monogamous relationship– as a means of security, of needing protection and of needing to offer protection…if for no other reason than to protect their vulnerable children.
And so it became socially important to be ‘family’ and this ‘life support system’ has endured ever since.
I have a basic rule that I try really hard to live by (it isn’t easy!) and that is to sit in judgment of nobody! Their lives are theirs to live as they see fit…just so long as their choices do not deliberately harm others, and if they do then I might go to them directly and seek, gently and respectfully, for a shared understanding.
In my maleness, I loved taking care of Treena and joining with her to provide protection for our children. We survived and flourished through such an interaction.
The Chinook, in my story, are therefore a ‘couple’…all the way to their very end.
P.S This week I read Treena’s poem The Promise