This is a tale of a fish. My poor poor pet fish. I’ve watched him grow from a tiny sliver in a bag to the big bully fish in the tank. Yes he can be quite feisty and while I can sit and chuckle safely on the oxygen side of the glass the other fish go scurrying when he comes by.
Well last week while cleaning out my fish tank he attempted a quick getaway and actually flopped all over the downstairs with half my family running away the other half in hot pursuit. After a sharp rebuke he was flipped back into the tank. I went to the kitchen for about 5 minutes and when I came back he was gone once again ! I was beside myself.. I thought I had covered it better.
We looked all over but he was really gone. Incredibly my pet fish had escaped!
How many people can say that?
The next morning on my way back from shul something caught my eye. Right there in my azalea bush on the side of my house was my poor fish. He looked absolutely exhausted and I couldn’t help but admire his tenacity and determination (yup..u gotta turn to fish for some inspiration these days). After respectfully covering him with a white handkerchief I went home sat on the couch and started thinking while abstractly staring at the now much happier fish tank.
Where exactly was this little guy going? I would imagine he was instinctively trying to get to his natural habitat which happens to be Lake Malawi in Africa (yes the continent). I couldn’t help but laugh at the sheer futility of it.
He died flipping and flopping to get from 12,435 miles 78 feet and 3 inches to 12,435 miles 53 feet 1 inch away from the shores of Lake Malawi.
Then I wondered at our futile struggles in this world. Is someone somewhere watching us and chuckling at our futility? Instinctively we are all looking, searching and yearning for something, the source of our existence, our habitat. Our souls are restless yet we spend a lifetime flipping and flopping until we collapse of exhaustion and then it’s over and we are as far from the source as my poor fish is buried from Lake Malawi.
I feel like it needs an explanation, so I'm posting it from the comments..
You see even though he was so far from his Lake..I managed to recreate his environment in the tank with the right water ..PH levels and temerature..
Once he left that environment is when his troubles started.
Hashem creates for us spaces where we can survive and be attached to our source..even here...Its when we leave....