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The Floating Snail
The Floating Snail
I have three bettas, each in their own one gallon tanks. (Because bettas don't play nicely together, and keeping them in the traditional tiny 8oz glasses seems cruel to me.) Their tanks build up algae. This, as any aquarium owner knows, is a constant struggle, to keep the tank clean.
To that end, I have a snail.
I noticed today, as I often do, that the snail was just floating there, at the top of the tank. And as I worried he might be dead, not for at least the 100th time now, it finally dawned on me what he was doing.
The tank, you see, was picked clean. He had eaten all that there was to eat. And so, in the wild, by turning himself into a float, the currents would inevitably carry him to new grounds, hopefully rich in food that he hadn't yet eaten.
Of course in a one gallon tank, with no currents at all, there is not far to go. But there are three tanks, and so, as I always do, I moved him to new lush pastures. (For a snail.) Because it is a constant battle, so there is always one tank needing a good cleaning.
And it occurred to me, I am this snail.
At times my life makes sense, has purpose. I feed from the lush joys that seem to by chance surround me. I am carried into them, not even realizing what is going on, just getting caught up in life and sating myself upon it.
And then life dries up. My sense of purpose wanes. And so I float, aimless, scared, hungry. Will I ever find food again? Or will I wither up and die in this meaningless empty shell?
Invariably the currents of life carry me to something new, perhaps because of my personality, but definitely in spite of my efforts or conscious will and effort to force a change. I am, ultimately, at the whims of the current. I have no choice but to go where life takes me. It is who I am.
And right now, I am at such a point. I am floating, aimless, adrift, hungry, confused, and scared. I see all that I once had, all that is gone now, and I despair. Will my future ever be so bright again? I don't know. For I am a snail. When it is time to move on, I give up, and just go with the flow.
Maybe this time will be my last. Maybe the flow will fail me. Or maybe it will be the dawn of a whole new adventure, and bring me unto lusher pasture than ever I have found before. I don't know what will happen. But for one brief moment at least, I finally understood what was happening enough to calm my fears, at least for now, and give my faith in a brighter future new hope.