A healing embrace
The gift of a loving soul
Wears many faces
A burden borne for others
Lightening the heart of both
What I had observed in my fish tank with my little dying fish, I was privileged to see again in my son’s pond. His sick fish had been at death’s door for several days, floating on its side, unable to swim upright and becoming weaker by the day. The poor orfe had no quality of life at all and spent all its time hiding under leaves, floatng on its side. How it had survived for so long, we did not know. We had medicated the pond, inadvertently changed most of the water with the filter debacle, and improved the water quality with a heavy-duty dose of beneficial bacteria.
There was nothing else we could do/. Then the fish developed an ulcer on its side from exposure to the sun, and even my son was discussing terminal possibilities.
But we are reluctant to go down that route. Hope is always possible, and even the most slender hope is a sliver of possibility. My son is a living example of that, coming back from the dead to a remarkable recovery. And so did his fish. The ulcer began to heal, the fish began to swim and even managed to stay upright.
He gets stronger by the day, even though we can see that there is still a problem and he is far from his usual slender self. He may, or may not live; the underlying issue may only have retreated, not been healed, but in the meantime, he is not alone.
As soon as he came out of hiding and back into the life of the pond, he had a companion. Just like my little gorami, whose mate stayed by his side until the end, the ailing orfe has a friend. He swims beside his sick pond-mate, hovers around him and presses his body against that of the sick fish. I am not ashamed of the tears as I watch them. Love wears many faces and even though sometimes its blood runs cold, it always warms the heart.
Tanka for Colleen’s poetry challenge.