Restoring Life to Death


There is death.  And then there is death.

Salmon swim upstream to spawn, and then die, having exerted themselves completely.   Eagles and bears drag salmon carcasses into the forest, and the remnants nourish the trees. Without the salmon, the rainforest where I live would not exist.   Salmon runs were vitally important times in the calendars of Coast Salish peoples all along the north Pacific coast.

My Irish and Scottish ancestors were salmon people too, and there was a time when salmon bodies nourished their forests as well.   Salmon were associated with knowledge, wisdom, and initiation.

Salmon face death on their own terms.   Like sacred kings, their bodies and their blood nourish the land. In the eyes of the forest, in the eyes of the people who inhabit it, in the eyes of eagle and raven and bear, and in the eyes of the gods, their deaths are right and good…

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