I was trying to enjoy a little morning reading when my husband announced one of the goldfish died last night. Seconds later I hear a voice in the quiet of my foggy head, "He's not going to give that fish a proper burial."
I walked into the kitchen and looked into the bowl. Sure enough, the biggest goldfish was skirting the edge while his bowlmates swam underneath his pale gold body. The water was yellow and murky.
I watched my husband transfer the live fish to another bowl. He moved quickly, scooping them up with his hand. The water swished back and forth every time his hand dove deep. In the millisecond between the last fish evacuation and the blessing, the presumably dead fish moved just a little bit.
I said, "Wait."
My husband said, "He moved, but he's definitely on his way out."
I reached my hand into the bowl and scooped him up. The energy was already flowing out of my hand. I could feel a tingle and then a fish pulse. Tingle. Fish pulse. Tingle. Fish pulse.
I placed my hand into the bowl of fresh water and then asked my husband to bring me a new bowl. As I waited I could feel the gentle expansion and contraction of his gills against my palm.
When the new bowl arrived, I placed the fish in it and wrapped my hands around the perimeter of the bowl to flow energy. He started off floating on his side, but definitely breathing. Then he rolled on his back. Floating, but breathing. He gently moved back and forth for a few minutes. His movement reminded me of a dolphin playing in the water.
I felt the energy of St. Francis and softly whispered, "Thanks for coming." I'm pretty sure the voice that initially urged me into the kitchen was his.
Roughly three minutes in the fish dove deep. Fins flapping. Body wiggling. Within five minutes he was in full swim as if this whole I-am-just-going-to-float-my-way-outta-here never happened.
My husband walked over and said, "He's alive because the water is fresh or because of what you just did. It was probably the water."
I responded, "We'll never know and it doesn't matter."
The truth is, the fish is alive because of presence and will, mine and his.
There's just no telling what we can do to support all life when we listen to our gut and reach out a hand, when we pray and thank the angels who walk by our side to support every minute of every day.
Then again, there is telling. And in the telling we admit to the story of what we know deep in our heart to be true: you have as much power to save yourself as you do to save the planet. Yes, you do. So reach out if you need help and reach out if you can offer help.
We're all in this bowl together.