Salmon Returning Home – a Song for You to Sing

Salmon Leap – Illustration by Jane Valencia

As we’re swimming with the Salmon, thematically speaking here in Forest Halls, by way of blog posts and my radio show,  I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite Salmon songs.

Salmon Returning Home was composed by my dear friend Kristina Turner, and is a wonderful song to sing with kids, families, and in community.  Kristina has generously agreed to share her song here so that you can sing it too.

Here’s what Kristina writes about the birth of the song:

The song has a story – it arrived on Summer Solstice during 24 hour prayer-vigil drumming at Burton Hill on Vashon. It is a healing song, dedicated to salmon fisherman and friend, John Schindler.

Listen to the song here

And here are the lyrics!

Salmon Returning Home – Lyrics and Music by Kristina Turner

Swimmin’ upstream
With my belly in the river
I’m salmon returning home

repeat verse –  you can sing it call and response.

Makin’ my way
From the sea to me
I’m openin’ up to the powers that be
I’m swimmin’ upstream
With my belly in the river
I’m salmon returning home

Verse 2:
Wrigglin’ over rocks
With my belly in the water
I’m salmon returnin’ home

repeat verse


Verse 3
Swimmin’ upstream
To the place I began
I’m salmon returning home

repeat verse


finish by repeating the last line 2 more times
Salmon returning home
Salmon returning home

Song etiquette:

Please remember to credit Kristina when singing this song. Please do not record/distribute it for personal use or profit, or change it without contacting Kristina and discussing your idea and intention with her. You can reach her here.

And I invite you to take a moment to get to know Kristina! She is a wonderful creative, wise woman who knows how to play! Her questions and insights help me pause and wonder, and to dig into my internal landscape with curiosity and delight. Kristina knows how to follow the Salmon — of one’s passions, creative vision …  — and help others to follow them too. I’ve harvested many a hazel nut of illumination by way of her, and found my way to new streams of possibilities.

Thank you for sharing this song, Kristina!

Kristina Turner
Kristina Turner, composer of “Salmon Returning Home.” Visit her at

PS. Watch a performance of Salmon Returning Home in the video Heart of Vashon  – Telling Our Story. Find it at 1:19:50. (yes, that’s me leading the singing).

A Final Salmon Note: I hope you’ve had the chance to listen to the latest Forest Halls Celtic streaming radio show, Show 38 – Salmon Return, which is a river of music, musing, poetry, and a tale with this amazing creature. If not, I encourage you to listen sometime this week, as this episode will cease being available for listening as of Dec. 8.



Tell me a Story

Nature Tells Stories - photo
Nature Tells Stories – photo by Jane Valencia

Here in the Northern Hemisphere we are still in the storytelling time of year. This is the time when nature-infused community and cultures have, like the plants, reached into the roots of themselves, sourcing from dreams, song, and wisdom for the most essential treasures within. From this deep-within place new and renewed pathways are envisioned and explored in a variety of ways. Nature tells and shows us that in spring, we’ll experience the tender roots and shoots of this dreaming, storyweaving time emerging into our daily life.

In the meantime though, we rest, wander, drink deeply of and poke and prod our stories. The stories we tell about our lives, the stories that guide us forward, the stories we tell each other. It’s how we humans have survived and thrived since our beginnings. Storytelling — whether in conversation, reflecting on the day, in the gratitude we offer, and the information we aim to convey — is as essential to our humanity as our ability to create and work with fire.

Now, more than ever, we need to tend to story. Our stories need to be reflective of what we truly want in our world. They need to bring us together rather than divide us, inspire hope rather than fear, look to seeking understanding, to pointing to directions to kind and strong ways of being in challenging times. And they need to offer heart, the possibility of healing, and forgiveness. They need to be as honest as we can make them. After all, we deserve nothing less: we are in this life and this beautiful world together.

And we need to have stories that are fun!

With that in mind I invite you all to the Vashon Wilderness Program‘s Tenth Annual Storytelling Festival. I’m honored to be a teller at this event, offering harp and story. Details below!

VWP Storytelling Festival 2017
In the heart of winter, hundreds of people from Vashon and beyond gather around our proverbial fire to share in the ancient and powerful tradition of oral storytelling.

In honor of their 10th year Anniversary,
their 10th Annual Storytelling Festival
will be offered to our community for FREE!

Join us – January 28th, 2017 @ 1pm

doors open at 12:30pm
this event typically sells out – early arrival strongly recommended

buy concessions, sign up for our 1-Minute Story-thon, and settle in with family & friends

Vashon Theater, Vashon Island

Packed with incredible stories for and by the community,

plus audience participation, including a 1-minute Story-thon, story improv games, and more.

Don’t miss this wonderful, family-friendly event!

Find Out What the Fox Really Says!

Greetings, folks!

If you’re on the Island, I invite you to join me for an hour of musical and magical fun for the whole family. Come with me into the mischievous world of Leaves, the Red Fox, in this bardic performance and book reading of my children’s fantasy novel, Because of the Red Fox.

Shhhh … It’s a secret!

Have you seen tracks like these? Art by Jane Valencia
Have you seen tracks like these? Art by Jane Valencia

My children’s fantasy novel, Because of the Red Fox is actually a top secret guide book for tracking the enchantment that’s all around us — even in our own families and in ourselves!  Discover how to become a magical naturalist and find out what the fox really says!

When: Sunday, March 29, 2-3pm. Where: The Vashon Bookshop, 17612 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon, WA 98070

Jane Valencia is a bardic harper & storyteller and nature teacher, whose performances, classes, writings, and art help families who want to keep the magic of connection alive despite the stresses of a too-busy world.

Celtic Twiddle art by Jane Valencia (c) 2010Can’t make it to Vashon? I’ll be travelling to the San Francisco Bay and Santa Cruz, CA, as well as to Portland, OR in the coming year, and perhaps other places as well. I’d love to bring this show and other family magic offerings to your community. Please contact me if you know of a particular book shop, organization, or group — or even you yourself — who might be interested  in hosting this event. Thank you and cheers!

Come enjoy some mischief, music and magic the whole family will enjoy!
Come experience some mischief, music and magic the whole family will enjoy!