The parable of the esplanade salmon-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I WAS in Melbourne, my first time there, when fortunately Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian visited the town, at Luna Park, Lower Esplanade, St. Kilda. Impressed with Guy’s talent and an Aus Idol fan myself, I ventured to find the venue by asking people and taking the tram. Humming Guy’s popular song Angels Brought You Here, I got to the park without much hassle. Australia is a tourist haven, with many tourist info kiosks and warm people too. I got a glimpse of Guy as he was getting in the limousine when he was to leave. With the throng of people carrying posters and placards, we cheered when the Afro-haired Asian Australian charmer came out to full view. Well that was as so much of the so much we could be entitled to. I then proceeded to stroll around with my thirst for new scenes and new stories as reckoning as the wide breathing space offered by the esplanade. The esplanades or bay shores in water-embraced continental Australia are always nice parks to find infinite places for a worthwhile saunter.
At the Lower Esplanade, I chanced upon a middle-aged guy named Bill whom I befriended. He was wearing blue over-alls and he was busy fishing. I was befuddled a bit when I saw him having a catch and then throwing it out after seeing it. Sayang, I thought. “What is this Greek Australian guy doing?” I must have mused. “A bedjan shark”, he quipped as he threw it back to the bay waters. “Hooks getting bedjan sharks are a waste. You won’t have that for food. The sinker’s two dollars even”, he continued. He yearned for that nice salmon to take the bait. A snapper will be okay- but he will hope it will be less than 3 kilograms. “Three to four kilogram snappers are too old for soup”, he complained. Those, he leaves on the wooden planks for other people to take or for the seagulls to feast on.
Some five minutes later, he finally got a prized salmon. I got ecstatic as he was and I watched him excitedly winding the string. “Great for him, after hours of fishing for luck”, I reflected. As he was getting the hook off, the salmon bit his finger. In pain and anger, he suddenly let it loose! Back to the waters it went. In frustration, he called it a day.
To borrow mathematical terms, we can say the level of frustration possible is directly proportional to the height of expectations we set. As we fish in life, we hope for the salmon. With our time, investments and efforts as hooks, baits and sinkers, at times we may get the bedjan sharks which are of no use to us. A waste of resources we may claim. Sometimes, we may settle for the snapper even for some soup or a cup of contentment. Kaysa naman wala, we reason out. But snappers may come in sizes and not a few come in those three to four kilogram sizes which are also of almost no use to us. And when the salmon finally comes to meet our expectations, sometimes we don’t know how to handle this salmon and it may be better to let go of it. Or with this salmon comes some responsibility or duties that may bite our fingers and it will be up to us if we can endure this temporary bite. After a long wait, salmons also come in life not on a silver platter. But for sure, when you get one salmon, that means there’s a school of salmon down there. And when you get disheartened with one bite and you go home, you drown the opportunity of getting more salmons meant for you.
Also, live up to the challenge of the life of a salmon. The salmon constantly braves the most raucous upstream waters to breed in loftier horizons.
Happy new year to everyone!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 08, 2013.