Posts Tagged ‘fish pond’

My neighbors rebuilt their pond – it’s magnificent. I watched the fish as they initially huddled together, sometimes at the very bottom of the pond when temperatures were cold, but at others, it seemed, for security. Every movement was made as a group, their little school. In barely a week and a half they have settled in, and now explore, swimming alone or with a few others, then back in the larger group, all dictated by needs and desires of which I can only surmise.

They frolic in the waterfall, dive, dart and occasionally leap splendidly in the air and splash down. I could watch them all day; they are mesmerizing. Observing a pattern of life so vastly different from my own – and yet so elementally the same – brought to mind a favorite quote.

It’s by Henry Beston from The Outermost House, A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod, written in 1928. This quote prompted me to pick up the book at the annual library sale, a perfect summer read.

“For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.” 

This quote has lived in my heart for over two decades and resonates deeply with my own love for animals. The fishes’ world may be a simple pond, but they are a nation of their own.

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