Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I remember as a child growing up catching fish in ponds and streams. I used to go into the cane fields near Makakilo and find little punawai and `auwai which carried little guppies. Many were plain but some wild ones had little spots of beautiful color. I would spend the whole day with my friends looking for these areas and then catch fish and bring them home in a bucket. At home, I would put them in my aquarium. I could sit for hours watching them swim around and noticing all the varied colors and personalities. It gave me much joy as a child.

Then I became old enough to get an allowance. I would save my money and then catch the bus to Pearlridge Mall and go to the petstore. After much inspection and thought, I would buy one or two fish and then bring them back home in their little air filled bags via the bus. At home, I would acclimate them into my aquarium and again enjoy them for their lifespan.

As I got older, and started working. I was able to get a larger aquarium and buy more expensive fish. I continued to maintain aquariums off and on for many years progressing from my initial 10 gallon aquarium to a 55 gallon aquarium. I thought about buying a 240 gallon but space and time commitments prevented me from acting upon that desire at the time.

At one point, in my adult life, I purchased 50 Neon Tetras to have a school of iridescent colors swimming about. It was expensive but it looked very nice. But in looking back. The more I was able to afford fancier and more expensive fish, the less satisfaction it brought me. I needed more and more to bring the same elation to me which my initial wild guppies brought me. And in fact, in looking back. I was never able to acquire the same satisfaction, elation, intrigue, wonderment, and sense of accomplishment which my simple free plain wild guppies brought me as a child. Caught after hiking through the bushes and lugging a heavy bucket home. That is the true value of expending effort. That is the true curse of money indeed...