Once in an all too infrequent while, I have what I call a life-changing moment…
…moments like a debut skydive, giving birth or maybe even meeting the Dalai Lama.
Regrettably I haven’t met the Dalai Lama but I think if we were ocean dwellers, he would have to be a dolphin.
The pics and video were captured through plexiglass (hence the scratchiness) at Marineland, Niagara Falls, Canada. It was a long overdue family vacation. We arrived just as the 3pm show started. Fantastic timing as it turned out!
Seals balanced balls and disco danced, an enormous walrus waved and wobbled. Beluga Whales shot trainers in the air and the dolphins flawlessly executed their choreography, all for a few pieces of fish.
I loved it…although, I think I have the questionable disposition of being an exclusivist. From our wing view, I envied those front and center. They were packed in, sure, but they must’ve snapped some great close-ups. The upside was, being a quiet day, we had plenty of space.
Show over, the dolphins coasted while the crowd filed out. Several jostled for a better look. I completely abandoned all dignity and flip-flopped my way down the concrete steps. This was my chance to see a dolphin up close!
Beside me, a buffed, overly-tanned male with bleached tips, banged the glass, yelled and sniggered to his similar looking crew. One dolphin glided our way (they’re very curious I later discovered). Not satisfied, buffed male climbed the ledge to drop his hand over the glass, only to receive a sharp reprimand from the attendant. His reaction? Callous laughter before exiting with his clones. (Small inner cheer on my part…)
Quite suddenly, we were alone. My husband, Paul and I were mesmerised. There was something so incredibly peaceful, loving and playful about these creatures. One dolphin (pictured) glided to a stop, an eye next to my face. I swear he was seeing me…and I mean, really seeing me, inside and out. It was heart stopping.
Once again, I lost all dignity. I gushed, blew kisses, shed tears…(I had become a complete idiot!)
(In this clip, the dolphin playfully splashes our older son, who’s been trying unsuccessfully to move us on. I’m waving like a mad thing at this point.)
In a brief moment of clarity, I realised what I was missing. I fumbled for my iphone and clicked away feverishly. The dolphin obligingly shifted position, left profile, right, head tilted just so…he was posing for me even though I could offer no fish!
He then cruised to my husband, who unlike me, was the picture of decorum. Paul simply pressed his head to the glass and closed his eyes. There, he and the dolphin remained for the next 10 seconds. It was astounding. The dolphin was Spock, mind-melding, connecting, exchanging.
When we finally tore ourselves away, it was all we could talk about. Like a couple of excited teenagers after our first dance, we chatted, laughed and pored over the images.
We had connected with a very magical aspect of mother nature and through that connection, had in turn, re-connected with ourselves. Before that, we’d been enjoying our trip in a superficial way, like swimming but only dangling our toes in the water. Our dolphin had completely removed all disconnecting thoughts from our tired, overworked brains. In that moment, we had no bills to pay, no schedules to keep, no lists to tick, nothing. In its place, bliss.
We were there to watch the dolphin, but something tells me, he watched us.
So if you’re ever lucky enough to be near a dolphin, savour the moment, stand in stillness and let the magic wash over you. Your life will be richer as a result.
Lastly a note to our most honourable Dalai Lama. If you’re reading this, I would dearly love to stand in stillness with you, even for a moment…