Slimy Hands, Happy Hearts
By: Lara Scriba
(4 min read)
This past week, my family and I were coming home to the marina after dark and noticed a splashing sound as we were coming onto the docks. Lately, there have been quite a few injured animals for various reasons, which has weighed especially heavy on my youngest son’s heart, so we wanted to ensure there was no animal in distress.
To our surprise, the water looked as if it was gently boiling, finding thousands of little fish bubbling just below the surface. Every now and then, they’d jump out, a little splash to make their presence known. But otherwise, when simply looking at the water, it was hard to tell they were there at all.
Curious, we scampered quickly to our friend’s boat to grab flashlights and nets to get a closer look. Mesmerized by the sheer number and how beautifully they swirled and swam in unison, mimicking murmuration. The kids dipped their nets a single time and found them full of wriggling fish. Squeals of delight and shrieks of pure excitement as they tried to hold the wet wriggly fish trying to identify them.
Soon we found the wildlife coming to join the commotion, Pelicans divebombing to grab an easy evening snack, and even the injured seagull we had been watching over the past few days came furiously paddling in to get a piece of the action. My son’s face broke into a huge smile as he had been worried sick about how the seagull was going to eat while injured, softening the harsh blow that nature can sometimes serve up.
A seemingly simple, sweet moment filled me with an immense amount of gratitude. A subtle but powerful reminder of the abundance available in our lives is ever present if we slow down enough to take notice, to get curious enough to wonder where it may reveal itself next.
To revel in the small moments and opportunities, we have to celebrate the simple pleasures that are afforded to us daily. To know that when we do, not only do we reap the rewards of its sweetness, but it is amplified when we share it with others as well.
The commotion we created by sharing our delight had dogs racing the docks trying to get a glance and children scampering back and forth following the flow of fish. Trying to film it all for my family back east, neighbors gathering and chatting, wondering what all the commotion was all about, and even the animals coming to join in to grab an evening snack. Everyone was a part of the chaos!
So often, we find ourselves inundated with the details of daily living or succumb to a feeling of lack. The ever-present to-do list, or sense of striving to meet your next goal, can easily tax the spirit if gone unnoticed.
The evening we had was such an incredible reminder that when I start to lose awareness of the abundance that surrounds me, I simply need to slow down and look just below the surface.
I had almost ushered the kids back to the boat as it was late, and the next morning was a school day. I’m so grateful that instead, I chose to pause, play, and immerse ourselves into the experience. To explore, share, squeal, and delight in the magic of nature, friendship, and family.
We walked away that evening with slimy hands and happy hearts, knowing we had made the absolute most of a seemingly simple moment and absorbed every ounce of abundance available to us.