National Aquarium, Baltimore MD
Silver flash times two, 
Eyes and fins slide by in waves,
whosh -- to you, then me. 


You may have thought, with health care reform at center stage, employment at record highs and the economy near shambles, newspapers would have plenty to publish on their very expensive newsprint. Wrong.

Apparently, Friday was a very slow news day.

This, from the front page of Saturday's Recorder (Greenfield MA):

Heroic Goldfish Heads Home

BUCKLAND -- The little goldfish that could is back home and safely swimming with his tank mate.

'Poopsie,' the 3-inch goldfish who took a swim through Buckland's sewer system earlier this week, was reunited with his family on Wednesday.

Wastewater treatment plant operator Alan Nichols and Chief Operator Daniel Fleuriel have seen many dead goldfish come through the plant, because so many pet fish are given 'flushing funerals' after they die. But a live goldfish coming through the sewage, twitching against a screen that filters larger objects, was a shock to both, said Board of Selectmen Chairman Stefan Racz.

Sherry Clark, town administrator and administrative assistant to the Board of Selectmen, named the rescued fish 'Poopsie.'

'That was for obvious reasons,' she said with a giggle.

Clark said when Fleuriel told employees at Town Hall what had happened, they thought, 'Wow, this is Buckland's fish!'

'Everyone is very, very happy that Poopsie was reunited with his family,' said Clark. 'And the family was delighted.'


Aquarium, California Academy of Science, May 2009
If we added up all the sunny days we’ve had this summer, I bet we could count them on two hands, maybe one.

Without hesitation, I've crossed off from my must-see list Seattle, Ireland, and anywhere else it rains 4 days out of 5. Yes, it’s nice to have lush grass and flowers that never need additional water. I’m happy for the white-water river rafters. What I worry about is rust, on me! 

If we must live underwater, let us have fish and coral and lifelines to the surface.  
My neighbor's grandkids have the right idea.



For years, I’ve tried to meditate, and failed.

I get distracted and lose my concentration. Background music doesn’t help, because I listen to it. The sounds of nature work the same way. But finally, after decades of trying , I’ve found the perfect meditation mechanism for me, and it’s swimming.

I do laps and laps and laps, all in easy strokes, like side stroke, back stroke, sometimes breast stroke. I’m in no hurry and have no set number of laps to do each time I go the pool. Our YMCA swimming pool is so small, it’s more like being in an aquarium than a people pool. I can see how a fish would get pretty neurotic running into walls all day! 

After a few laps, I lose track of time. Rhythmic breathing and soothing sounds of water put me in a meditative state, no matter what’s going in my life or in adjoining lanes at the pool. I'm out there! 

I love the feel of the water on my skin. I figure I’m getting a good cardiac workout, pulling a certain number of pounds against the water. The greatest benefit, of course, is that swimming doesn’t put much pressure on my poor arthritic hips, feet or hands. Some have Achilles’ heels; I have Achilles’ wrists. After my swim, I sit in the hot tub for a few minutes right over the jets, if possible. 

What do you do to reach your meditative state? 

Photos taken May 3, 2009, at California Academy of Sciences