Looking back on the past year I find it very difficult to identify one story or moment that is emblematic of what I think was most meaningful or profound in the work of Salmon Beyond Borders. The thing that stands out to me most is the connections that have either been made or strengthened between people who care about protecting the rivers that sustain us and, ultimately, draw us together.
Thinking about this feels especially poignant to me after enduring a year whose end has been punctuated with politics that paint such strong pictures of division. For my own strength and psychological wellbeing, I have been looking to emphasize ways of finding common ground with those who I come into contact with and drawing closer to those I am already connected to in all aspects of my life and work.
Just today I found a passage that, I feel, exemplifies the kind of thinking that extends beyond the politics of people and reaches to the core of how minds and hearts can move toward finding solutions based on what we all experience as humans. The exercise of finding a passage of writing to share with co-workers as a gift to bring to each other led me to this:
“‘Love seems paramount to me. Seeing through the world, explaining it, despising it may be crucial to great thinkers. But all I care about is to be able to love the world, not to despise it, not to hate it or myself, to be able to view it and myself and all beings with love and admiration and awe.’”—Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Looking back at the past year I see people we have connected with because of their orientation around fish and water. They are part of a river of faces that is flowing together in time and our numbers are growing. This river of people brings gladness to me, makes my heart feel strong and full, and it brings me hope.
It is my wish that you feel a sense of hope and love in the New Year.
Salmon Beyond Borders
Organizer and Connector
SALMON BEYOND BORDERS is a campaign driven by sport and commercial fishermen, community leaders, tourism and recreation business owners and concerned citizens, in collaboration with Tribes and First Nations, united across the Alaska/British Columbia border to defend and sustain our transboundary rivers, jobs and way of life.
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