Like liquid topaz, the span of Pacific Ocean before me sparkles beneath the midday December sun. Poofs of cotton white geysers rise from the blue surface and lose their power to the northeasterly winds. But the grey whales expelling those puffs of salty air and water move their powerful bodies south, unimpressed with the wind above them.
A pod of maybe five grey whales swim in a rhythmic tandem—a rhythm and watery path as old as the sea. One sends an exhalation plume into the air, its back breaches the water’s surface, and then its massive fluke rises and drives the whale deeper into its briny home. Another follows the pattern; and another; and then I wait for the next few to follow the first whale’s lead.
The sun’s rays warms my face while a cool winter’s breeze skims over my flesh. The moment is like a deep prayer that soothes my soul.
It brings to mind a magical August day this year when my friend Cruz and her husband, David, visited. I was honored to host them. It had been years since I had seen Cruz. Like today, the sea mocked the color of semi-precious stones and the sun brightened and warmed the air. Cruz and I took some tea and sat on the deck with binoculars in our hands. Our coast’s summer whales, humpbacks, stole the show with their aquatic antics. Some of their moves grabbed our breath with amazement.
Both Cruz and I savored this holy show, yet we each harbored a sadness knowing full well, that our seas are not healthy. It brought us to a conversation about our mutual experiences with faith, religious devotion, and honoring our earth. Cruz comes from the Pima people of Arizona, I from the bar people of Los Angeles. Like me, Cruz kneeled and prayed in the Catholic church. Like Cruz, I rediscovered church in nature.
Lapsed Catholics or believers that God, is indeed everywhere, and not just in a magestic building or playing hide and seek somewhere among the clouds in the sky?
When a pair of humpbacks flew out of the water below us, and we heard their massive landing, the answer was obvious.
There were so many moments like this during 2015. I was blessed with visits by and with remarkable persons — persons who think deep, and introduced me to new stories, information and ideas.
I tend to over extend myself and end up wishing that I could fully digest my consumption of food for thought.
Yesterday I spent time in the desert. The silent hum of nothingness gave me pause to reflect. And reflect I shall for the next 30 days beginning this Sunday. I’ll call this 30 Mindful Days. If you don’t hear from me, don’t worry, I’m okay. I have a plate full of thoughtful food that I shall begin to taste and experience during metaphorical moments of silence and mindfulness.