Four fish in the pond in Autumn

There’s something almost hallucinatory about watching koi and goldfish in a pond. Maybe it’s the stark contrast of colors. Maybe it’s that the colors are both bright and subdued at the same time — which ought to be impossible. Or maybe it’s the unhurried, languid, liquid motion of the fish themselves — the scene is constantly shifting, but it’s all so slow and lazy and utterly calming that you’re sometimes uncertain if anything has moved at all.

As Autumn moves toward winter, everything slows down even more. By the time the temperature of the water dips below 50F and stays there, the fish will gradually…just…come to…a stop. They’ll sit zazen, floating just above the bottom of the pond with their pectoral fins tucked politely underneath them.

Maybe they spend the winter months uncertain if they’re actually seeing the sky and clouds and the unhurried, languid, subdued shifting of light above them — or if it’s all so slow and lazy and calming that they’re actually just hallucinating.

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