Thursday, October 01, 2009

Life Lessons from a Fishtank

As you know (or maybe you don't), we now have fish. Plural. We bought a Chinese Golden Algae Eater to clean up the tank and to keep Hot Wheels company. I know, they can be rough on goldfish, but so far everyone has enough food and space, and the only inhabitant getting harrassed is the snail (cuz he's been a bit mossy).

So, it was time to move onto interior decorating. One benefit of a geologist husband is I have a go-to guy for aquarium rocks that are fish-friendly and won't leach anything into the water or dissolve, etc. So we assembled a lovely tower of specimens and then transferred it into the tank to give everyone something to swim under and hang out one. Generally, just liven up the joint.

I knew it would be a bit traumatic for the fishes to have a pile of granite introduced into their space, but I figured they'd get over it. Well, all the finned inhabitants of our tank fluttered around the edges of the tank for hours, speeding past the rocks occasionally, without a second look.

Apple Snail (whether he is one or not, is still under debate, but this is now his name) sat quietly for about 10 minutes and then glacially, majestically sidled up to the sculpture to check it out. He stretched out of his shell the farthest I've ever seen to touch the rocks with his feelers and foot and then gracefully hoisted himself onto the rocks to continue his exploration.

How cool, how relaxed, how in control of the situation. In my habit of anthropomorphizing everything, I decided that this was a lovely example of how to deal with change. Approach with deliberate caution, check the situation out, explore thoroughly and embrace. I have never seen this snail from so many different angles as his cruised around his rocks. The other fish had come to terms with them by morning, but were still a bit flighty and suspicious (anthropo. again).

So I keep A.S. in mind. Something is always coming out from left field and I think I could learn a few things from a snail, my new, slimy role model. (And a bit less mossy, too, thanks to CGAE--called Nolo after a Hot Wheels Acceleracers character.)


Yoga Spy said...

This is also another example of "looks are deceiving" or "can't judge a book by its cover." Snails are literally at the bottom of the tank in terms of speed, agility, and overall glamour. But, here, the snail proves itself as the calm, curious, brave, and sensible. Conversely the typically flashy fish were caught off-guard and wary. You go snail!

Donna said...

Loved this lesson from the snail. It was willing to try something new before anyone else and was a trend setter incorporating change courageously and wisely. Its a lesson I will share with my children as a bedtime story. I'm thinking of writing it up as well to teach in my kids yoga class. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your insights.