Just keep swimming

She missed moving water.

She missed seeing the stars in the night sky, the others swimming alongside her. She missed the rhythm of her days.

It had begun in such promising fashion.

She saw the lure, shiny and sparkling in the sun. She took it. And that is when the glass walls around her went up.

saltwater fishing - rod with wobbler and blue sea water
“And that is when the glass walls around her went up.”

At first, the enclosure did not make itself apparent. She occupied herself gazing into the fisherman’s kind eyes, basking in his admiring smile.

As time went on, she swam this way and that, bumping into a wall no matter which direction she turned. It seemed the enclosure shrunk a bit with each passing day.

His eyes remained kind but ever watchful. When he saw her gazing wistfully at the schools passing by, those eyes became reproachful, sometimes angry. And his smile, no less admiring, was a beautiful smile but just one, after all. She missed the others. The ones that went beyond admiration to understanding, acceptance, comradery.

Slowly, over time, she stopped swimming. She thought of days past when the stream seemed rough, when she bemoaned being thrown against the rocks or hitting white water. She realized now even that was better than stagnation.

Water, without movement, is beautiful only for a time.

One day, she retired all hope, flopping belly up. And that is when she saw the stars in the night sky, unencumbered by any glass between her and their twinkling light. Summoning all she had left, she leaped upward, survived the resulting freefall and landed, again, in moving water.

Kind eyes and an admiring smile fading slowly into the distance, she thanked him for what he had shown her. And swam on, knowing now that she could not be caged or kept. The kind eyes she would stay with were those that would be willing to swim along beside her, allowing the water to have its way with them.



30 Comments Add yours

  1. MollyB111 says:

    I’m feeling your inner mermaid in some of these posts 🙂 Have you seen Finding Dory?

    1. candidkay says:

      Ooh, I like that. Inner mermaid. Is that why I’m not like the other girls?:)

      1. MollyB111 says:

        Be oh so glad you are not like the other girls! You are amazing, special and beautiful! ❤

      2. candidkay says:

        Aw, thank you. Truly.

  2. This is such a beautiful post. I really hate to say this but it is inaccurate, scientifically.

    I agree with whatever you say and I really love the entire prose, the lines and the style.

    1. candidkay says:

      I wasn’t going for scientific accuracy, so we’re good:). Glad you liked the more ethereal bits!

  3. This is quite clever. I thought the fish was going to land on the floor and was uplifted when it did not, and even better became free.

    1. candidkay says:

      There’s been enough landing on the floor for this fish:). Free is good!

  4. There are so many, but I think I choose,”Water, without movement, is beautiful only for a time.” Yes, that’s my favorite. I love a good journey. Really lovely.

    1. candidkay says:

      And I’ve learned a good journey doesn’t feel good all of the time. But the end result overshadows any discomfort:).

  5. heyjude6119 says:

    A hard leap but a necessary, life-giving one. You’re going to make it after all. (cue the Mary Tyler Moore theme song)

    1. candidkay says:

      And let me throw my hat into the air with abandon:). Isn’t that what MTM did?

  6. Roy McCarthy says:

    That is a lovely piece of flash fiction Kristine. I just can’t do that. I hope you have more to come.

  7. We just had a little goldfish who didn’t last long, unfortunately. She would swim up to me when I bent to look in her little tank. I wondered what she thought. I couldn’t help be struck by this little life force. I was sad when she died.

    1. candidkay says:

      I always feel sorry for any caged or contained animal–just not the way Nature intended it.

  8. Cindy Frank says:

    Much happiness for always.

  9. reocochran says:

    I thought of a father sending his daughter off to school ♡
    A grandfather standing in the airport waving to grandson heading off to find his way in the world. ♡
    Lovely images, but freedom is a big deal here in U.S. with Martin Luther King, Jr Day tomorrow. Let Freedom ring! 🙂

  10. I love this. So clever, so moving.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Love it when the words just flow.

  11. Amy says:

    Swim fast and far, my friend, unfettered and free. May you you find your way, by sunlight and starlight, to the place where placid water flows sweet and unrestricted. I just know you’ll find that place. I know something else, too: Someone special waits for you there. ❤️

    1. candidkay says:

      As usual, you put it so beautifully. I’m going to trust in your instincts! Sounds like a beautiful reality I’m living into:). Thank you for your continuing kindness.

  12. Very wise analogy Kay. There is always an event and the wisdom it has taught. Great wisdom is the ability to understand that journey fully. It is there, but we must look….sometimes deeply.
    Great post, thank you for sharing 🙂

  13. A touching story Kay, that we can all relate to in our own lives. Each of us on a journey to teach us and help us expand into our potential. Beautiful.

  14. Judy says:

    A fresh look on the idea of wanting to have no tribulation. Well done.

  15. George says:

    I love your use of language and the analogies created in such a poignant piece.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Glad it struck you.

  16. This is beautiful, so sad, poignant but ultimately hopeful.

    1. candidkay says:

      Then you got it:). Unequivocally, you got it. Thanks for getting it, yet again:).

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