Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ruth the Goldfish of Norooz

well, we're waiting for Spring! However, tonight the mercury is set to dip to -19c so we are not done with winter yet. While the old crone of winter insists on clinging to us, however, many of us are feeling a bit weather-beaten by her wintery clasp. Wind-whipped. We admit defeat! We are at Spring Equinox but the lookout from where we walk the earth is still barren. Why, just the other day we had more snow, which the high bush cranberry gracefully accepted, but to tell you the truth we're tired of winter boots! A bit of green could cheer the spirits....

Spring Equinox is also Norooz, or Iranian New Year. Last Norooz, I bought a goldfish, my small way of partaking with the hope of spring that Norooz celebrates (Fataneh has told me about some of them and there are many!) I brought the goldfish home eagerly; couldn't wait to have her golden beauty flashing about in crystal clear water. I named her Ruth. I lovingly placed her in a beautiful glass bowl and set the bowl above my kitchen sink where I could admire her as I washed dishes. But Ruth wouldn't go along with my plans.

She immediately sank to the bottom of the glass bowl and slowly, ever so slowly, began to swim backwards. For days she swam backwards in circles. What! Is my fish damaged? Doesn't she like her new home! Terribly worried, I googled "goldfish swimming backwards" for any help I could glean off the net.

She needs more water. The glass bowl was killing her. She needs a lot of surface area, not a narrowing. I called son no. 1 to go dig out the old aquarium. I placed it in a dim, quiet corner, away from the bright lights of the kitchen. I set to making her a new marine home. Blue stones and glass beads to ground her. Smooth lake stones--even a few from the Irish seashore--to poke about. A few green plants to hide inside. All the while she paid me no attention, she just swam backwards in slow, maddening circles. Round and round the bottom edge of the bowl. I was afraid my hope of spring would die before I could get her in more water. That'll teach me to think I can just take a living being and put her on a shelf where I can admire her. Have her fit into my life, where I want her.

Very shortly after being placed in her new watery home, Ruth reversed. Her fishality changed dramatically. She became the friskiest fish and all traces of her past lethargic life was gone. Ruth wasn't damaged at all, she just didn't have enough of her element--water--to thrive. She flitted and frolicked in the water! ...for 6 months. Then one day, Ruth the goldfish of Norooz cavorted right out of the water. She has a new home underground in my garden.

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