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.

CHORUS
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

CHORUS

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

repeat verse

CHORUS:

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 kristinaturner.com.

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.

 

 

Episode 38 – Radio Show – Salmon Return – November 24, 2019

In Celtic myth, Salmon are beings of shining wisdom, embodied generosity, resilience, vigorous will, and ocean-deep love. In today’s Forest Halls Celtic streaming radio episode – Show 38 – Salmon Return, we swim with the salmon, joining them on their journey to and from the sea by way of music, poetry, flights of fancy, and tale. With this episode I’m excited to begin sharing my stories (ones I tell, ones I write) with you, beginning with my retelling of a beloved traditional Irish myth: “Finn and the Salmon of Wisdom.”

The second hour is a re-airing of Show 17 – Treasures, which is a collection of musical gems, many of which happen to be Welsh.

Enjoy harp playing with Sue Richards and Kathleen Loughnane (in the group Dordan) in Show 38,  and  Janet Harbison, in Pigyn Clust, Cheryl Ann Fulton, and Robin Huw Bowen (in Crasdant) in Show 17.

Catch Forest Halls Celtic today at 12-2pm PST at Voice of Vashon, or on demand for the next weeks as well.  Click here to listen to all the current episodes of Forest Halls Celtic

Your host is bardic harper and storyteller Jane Valencia.

00:08 Spookytree / Lochaber No More
01:20 Sue Richards / Lament for Coire An Easa/Hazel Grove
05:26 Sharon Shannon / The Jewels of the Ocean
10:48 Seamus Byrne / Track 2 – Irish Nature Sounds
11:38  Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola / Oilean Na Teiscinne
13:52 Kate in the Kettle / Salmon
22:00 Dordan / Three Reels: Weave The Bog Cotton / Barr Na Ceibhe/ The Leaping Salmon
25:51 Ensemble Galilei / The Salmon Tailing Up the River
29:28 Julie Fowlis / Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a’ Chuain
32:39 Tina Malia / Sound of the River
38:05 Jon Parmentier / Old Growth
41:05 Seamus Byrne / Track 1
43:05 Jane Valencia / Finn and the Salmon of Wisdom – tale
51:30 The Cast (Mairi Campbell & David Francis) / Eventide
55:52 Skyedance / Harris Dance

Photo art by Jane Valencia

 

Welcome to my Library and Hello to your Dragon Nature

I’ve started a personal library! It’s called the Greenwood Library in Forest Halls. The first book I scanned into the collection was the children’s herbal fantasy, Wise Child, (wise woman Juniper also plays the harp!) and the first book loaned is Flowers and Fables: a Welsh Herbal (both pictured here). You’re invited to browse the library. I’ll be adding many more items over the coming weeks — so easy to do with the app on my phone! Loans are available to on-islanders and other local folk. If you live out of the area (as many of you do), I hope this library will point you to some of the great resources that are available out in the world.

Greenwood Library "Firsts"
First book  entered into the system, first book loaned. Bookmarks are serve as reminders that these are library loans.

My 11-year-old self is in heaven. As a sixth-grader abandoned at the start of the school year by my until-then best friends (who, during the previous summer, had embarked on a mission to become popular), I deepened my friendship with the girl across the street. We spent  many recesses, lunch hours, and after school hours reading and imagining together, and much of that time was in our school library. My best friend Jenny had been helping the librarian with the circulation cards. When Jenny shared this part of her world with me and I started helping too, well, that opened the door to a new kind of awesomeness!

With my library, with its online catalog linked to the global world of books, my twenties self is in heaven too. The jobs I loved most as a young adult were the years I worked as a Library Specialist in Interlibrary Services at the Stanford University’s Green Library. My work involved tracking down and retrieving books and making photocopies of articles from the myriad campus libraries and from Green Library’s mysterious stacks and labyrinthine regions (some so little used and remote that you had to snap on the lights when you entered some  areas, and snap them off when you left).

And quite happy too, thank you very much, is my inner dragon and voracious lifelong learner self who has always loved books, gathering information, and prowling the long shadowed corridors of the anima mundi, nudging open the compact shelving of the heart with secret words, and discovering the hidden treasures that nestle within each one of us and which glimmer and ring with the true nature that is the world.

It seems that with the opening of this library, I’m saying yes to my imagination. So here is fair warning to you, and an invitation. With the opening of this library, I dedicate this blog to fully expressing my magical life and peculiar take on this world, and to welcoming you into a story of myth and medicine, true nature and kindness. This walk through the woods and words, however, isn’t a one-directional path. It, I hope, is a conversation, a polyphonic and polyrhythmic musical improvisation, a reciprocal sharing of resources in terms of tales and imaginings and illuminations, such as is enjoyed in book and article form by the research libraries for whom I once served.  I look forward to hearing your stories, your ways of perception, the heart of the world as it expresses within your singular and beautiful dragon nature.

Water Snake Wonderings - art
Wonders at the Heart of our Nature – art by Jane Valencia

How is magic and sweet surprise alive and well in your world? How do you live it out in your daily life with family, friends, community, and with nature? How does your unique take on life and your way of being nourish the children, help heal culture, and better our world? How do you experience yourself as Nature, as a child of the earth, imagination, and the Sacred? How can you and I grow our magical nature — our medicine selves — in service to living out our responses to questions such as these? What are your dragon nature questions?

These wonderings are the waters from which this blog springs.

I invite you to record your musings in the comments box below.

Visit the Greenwood Library in Forest Halls here.

Books Are Magical Doors