i'm generally an optimistic person. but contrary to what you might think, it's not always rainbows and butterflies. i'm also a realist. no matter how much there is to love about life, to be grateful for, to relish, we all get served our share of "shit sandwiches."
times when you feel alone. frustrated. powerless. overwhelmed.
and tried and true sayings like "it was probably meant to be" or "hang in there" are just that: words—empty, unable to wipe away the angst of the moment or the situation.
i took the photo above in leland, michigan. there's a fish ladder in the heart of the town, and every october, the salmon swim against the current to spawn. it's an amazing sight, but none too familiar as i watched this little guy try to surmount the gushing stream of water.
it took several attempts. he lept. he flailed. he slid back down into the pool of swirling water. and then lined himself up to try again. after a valiant effort, he finally landed and continued his journey upstream. it was the like "the little fish that could"—a microcosm of perseverance, strength, intestinal fortitude and guts.
but it was also something else. i was so focused on his individual struggle...that i didn't realize what was happening further downstream. lined up like cordwood were hundreds of salmon, all waiting for their turn to jump.
it's easy to get caught up in our own drama. and sometimes it's completely justified to get pissed off at the universe. but it's also important to remember that we're all on this journey together. sometimes we coast along with the current. and sometimes it's a flail upstream. knowing you're not alone doesn't necessarily make your problems better. but it does make the load more bearable.