The Sleeping Shrimp | A Spanish Proverb

"end of the day" by paul bica
“end of the day” by paul bica

Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente.

It was one of the first sayings in Spanish that I ever learned, though, if I’m being honest, I had to write it down to remember it.  I wish I could remember the person’s name who taught me, too.  It escapes me. But not the message.  The message is clear.

Translated, the above proverb means “The sleeping shrimp goes out with the tide.”

I’ve always remembered the meaning.  The call to action, in such beautiful language that just rolls from the tongue.  It is a message that the tide is almost always against us.  Not personally, mind you, but just as a matter of nature.  The tide rises and recedes.  And as shrimp we are pulled by the forces that at times seem, well…Sometimes the forces seem to be against us personally.

The tide can be a challenge to overcome.

It’s the sleeping shrimp, the one who lets his passion wane against those forces whose life is ultimately determined by those forces.  Instead of pushing back and defining his own life.  Such a beautiful saying that tells an amazing story, like a fairy tale, that warning that helps keep us on the path.

My thoughts drifted this morning, and the sleeping shrimp came to mind.  I feel I’ve heeded the warning quite well.  In fact, I feel somewhat guilty I haven’t spent more time here on my journal.  I’ve been writing a lot, and designing, and helping others.  I’ve been teaching, and learning, and taking advantage of new opportunities.

The tide has pushed often, but I feel I have done well to not be swept out to sea.

3 thoughts on “The Sleeping Shrimp | A Spanish Proverb”

  1. Interesting, Greg, that was nearly the same message taught at an Advent Service this past week, although the pastor used a rip tide as the example! I’m hoping I’m not sleeping or caught in a rip tide, either,since my life has been a bit more sedentary lately. However, it has given me time to reflect on & focus on some neglected areas of my life. Thank you!

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