Under the surface

salmon 001


My son has a fair sized pond with a wide variety of fish. Most of them were babies when they were acquired, but he couldn’t resist one or two bigger ones. I was watching them today, taking a break from the cleaning. You have to look for a while before you can see beyond the reflections.

We have one shubunkin that doesn’t look well. I was struck by the way it has retired from the deeper water and now lies quietly in the shallows, half hidden by the weeds.

A shoal of golden orfe, swimming, as they do, in unison, approached and seemed to my imagination, to be paying their respects. They were, unusually, joined by most of the smaller fish, the goldfish and comets, fantails and small koi… even the grass carp. They seldom come to that end of the pond… the feeding is done at the other. All facing that same way.  Almost as if they were showing concern for a fellow being in need.

The resident frog was basking in the marsh marigolds. In the corner the water was churning with tadpoles. Watching them always makes me feel like a child. “Just tadpoles?” inquired my son, laughing. He misses few opportunities to enforce his view that as I am obviously regressing, he is now the adult in our relationship.

The sturgeon, huge great things that look like leftover dinosaurs, were sailing with grace through the water. But it was the single, enormous ghost koi that caught my attention.

It is a beautiful creature, the metallic scales a mix of gold and silver in the sunlit water. It hung there, majestic, slow, gracious.

I couldn’t help but wonder what goes through its mind. Now I know there is not much of a brain… but is there is more to it than that? Do fish have emotions? Do they think, feel, wonder?

What does this creature ponder, if, in fact, it ponders at all? Being the same, but so much bigger than the rest, does it see itself as godlike? Or an outcast? Do the others perceive it that way? Does it think it is a sturgeon instead… they are the only things that approach its size…or a protector of the smaller denizens of the pond?

Or does it see itself as small as the others. Do the small fry understand that its length goes with age, or do they see it as a giant, or even recognise it as another fish, being so vast in comparison? Or maybe they just think it needs to go on a diet?

Or is it just lonely…. desperate for a playmate of its own type?

Or maybe it doesn’t think at all and it is just a weird quirk of my imagination that ponders these things, projecting them on the poor fish who thinks only of basking in the sunshine.

Then again… as I am the one who throws food in the pond, like manna from heaven to them perhaps, do they think I am a god?

Or maybe I am just weird.

That’s probably true.

Yeah, ok. Definitely true.

But we do it with people too, don’t we… all this wondering and supposing, reading things in and out of their minds that may or may not be there. We  are always looking at the signs, the body language, the inflections and choices of words.. even their silences, constantly trying to interpret what is going through their minds. Especially where our own emotions are engaged.

Often we act on what we assume or suppose, rather than taking the communication a little deeper, a little closer, and actually finding out.

Of course, body language is a form of communication, and sometimes it is all we get. Sometimes we need to read those subtle signs to know when something is wrong, when we might, perhaps, able to help. It may be that the person brightly chattering away is hiding heartbreak behind the façade. Or perhaps they are reaching out for help, or seeking simply to connect but do not know how or where to begin.

It is, undoubtedly, easier to accept the surface than it is to see beyond it. Yet, just as with the pond today, once your eyes have adjusted and can see below the water, a whole new world opens up, and you never know what you might find in the hidden depths.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Life, Love and Laughter, painting, Spirituality, The Silent Eye and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Under the surface

  1. WyndyDee says:

    Reblogged this on Wyndy Dee and commented:
    Very nice…I could so imagine what you are saying.


  2. neocup says:

    You’re NOT WIERD. You’ve managed to “capture” and put your “internal dialogue” on paper…and highlight it with beautiful photographs…but MOST PEOPLE I KNOW have that inner voice…they just don’t vocalize it or in OUR CASE… PUBLISH IT. Love your work!


    • Sue Vincent says:

      *chuckles* You’ll destroy my son’s favourite ‘insult’ there.. he likes to call me weird.. has done for years. That way he can blame it all on genetics 😉


  3. theINFP says:

    It must be a big pond! I think every thing on the planet has a bit of ‘god’ in them, all that is required is for the thing to be needed, required, wanted, admired, loved, cherished. The problem with this approach is use of the thing can be used for good or bad………….. I’m not sure where this came from or where it’s going …… Any hoo great fish 🙂


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Believe me, it is a big deep pond 🙂
      But yes, for me too, God is in everything.. and everything is in God.
      Oh, now you’ve set me off on a whole other train of thought…. 😉


  4. araneus1 says:

    A good friend was trying to make a point about opening our minds to wider possibilities when he told the story about the goldfish in a bowl. One gold fish was trying to convince the other that it was God who came everyday at the same time and rained food down on them and then disappeared into the blazing light.
    In fact it was the janitor who feed the fish at the same time every morning at the beginning of his shift and then left through a door into a brightly lit hallway.
    He made his point well about ‘the wider view’ but he also freaked me out just a bit!


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Maybe the janitor was a close to God as the goldfish could perceive.. but at least it had the vision and openness to look 😉

      And of course, even the janitor carries God within ….so maybe the goldfish had a point 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. elizabeth says:

    Who did that beautiful fish Sue? Was it you? It’s gorgeous. 🙂


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